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- Hyatt released a statement on November 12 saying it is doing away with mini bottles of toiletries across all 875+ of its properties by 2021 in an effort to eliminate single-use plastics.
- The move by the major hotel chain is just the most recent example of the hospitality industry leaning into sustainability.
- In addition to being environmentally responsible, experts say it’s a good tactic to drum up business with millennials.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Tiny toiletries are being squeezed out of hotel rooms.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is the latest hotel chain to do away with mini shampoo bottles in the name of sustainability. In a November 12 statement, the chain announced it would transition to larger, more eco-friendly bathroom amenities in all 200,000 of its hotel rooms by June 2021 at the latest. The decision plays into Hyatt’s larger sustainability action plan, which also includes responsible food sourcing.
“Plastic pollution is a global issue, and we hope our efforts will motivate guests, customers, and indeed, ourselves to think more critically about our use of plastic,” said Hyatt president and CEO Mark Hoplamazian in Tuesday’s press release.
The change comes after other major hotel chains have made similar promises.
InterContinental Hotels Group, which includes Holiday Inn and Kimpton brands, announced in July that it would offer toiletries in bulk-size dispensers in all 800,000 of its hotel rooms by 2021. The Washington Post reported that the company expects to reduce plastic waste by 200 million little bottles a year.
Marriott International followed shortly after. In August, it vowed to completely eliminate plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel from its hotel rooms by December 2020 – an expedited timeline. Marriott is the largest hotel chain with 7,000 hotels and 30 brands ranging from SpringHill Suites to Ritz-Carlton. It estimates the change will result in 500 million fewer discarded small bottles a year – or 1.7 million pounds of plastic.
The environmental change is not only responsible – it’s good for business
A global online survey conducted by Nielsen in November 2018 found that 85% of millenials reported that “it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important that companies implement programs to improve the environment.” And, as previously reported by Business Insider, millennials are willing to spend more on travel than any other generation, making the age group the hospitality industry’s most impactful target market.
“… As the ‘typical’ hotel guest morphs from a boomer to a millennial, concern for the environment is now a top-10 ‘must-have’ in a hotel stay,” Chekitan Dev, a professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration told the Washington Post in an email, regarding InterContinental Hotels Group’s July decision to reduce plastic waste.
Christophe Thomas, the general manager of the SLS Beverly Hills, which was just rated the best hotel in the world by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, echoed Dev’s sentiment on responsible travel in an October interview with Business Insider. He identified the key strategies the hotel relies on to capture millennial interest, including “being connected to the local area” while remembering that “we are citizens of the world.” The hotel, Thomas said, does so with strategies as subtle as using local produce in the hotel’s restaurants because “it’s responsible behavior to be local.”
Business Insider Today spoke with nonprofit organization, Clean the World, on its plan for an eco-friendly future, as hotel chains eliminate single-use plastics.