Major hotel group taking aim at plastic waste as industry takes responsibility - Planet Ark Environmental Foundation

Major hotel group taking aim at plastic waste as industry takes responsibility

By Doug Donnellan  August 20th, 2019

One of the world's biggest hotel chains, InterContinental, plans to remove single-use mini plastic bottles from all operations by 2021.


InterContinental Hotels Group said last month that it plans to remove single-use mini plastic bottles from its 843,000 rooms by 2021. The owner of Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental aims to prevent its usual 200 million mini plastic bottles per year (around 1 million kilograms of plastic) from entering landfills by switching to ceramic containers, refillable bottles and bulk dispensers.

Jo Hendrickx, founder and chief executive of Travel Without Plastic, expressed approval of the shift by saying, ““We welcome their commitment today to move to larger-size toiletries as part of their efforts to reduce plastic waste. We think this sets a good example for the industry and hope others follow suit.”

According to The Independent, over 1,000 of the hotels have already made the move away from single-use plastic toiletry bottles, which could be in preparation of a recently passed bill in California which looks to ban them state-wide. The bill could prevent hotels, motels and resorts from offering plastic bottles of 340ml or less in an effort to curb plastic waste. If the bill is passed as a law, businesses can face hefty fines for contributing to this type of plastic waste.

Keith Barr, the chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group told The Independent the industry was recognising its responsibilities in terms of waste management.

“It’s more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly – we know it’s what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect," Mr Barr said.

"Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change.”


Positive Action

  • Avoid single-use plastic items whenever possible, but when there is no other option, dispose of it responsibly by recycling. For information on what can be recycled in your local area, visit RecyclingNearYou.
  • Look out for the Australasian Recycling Label when disposing of packaging. It provides clear instructions on how to responsibly dispose of each packaging component.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


By Doug Donnellan

Doug joined Planet Ark's Information Centre team in April 2019 after completing a Master's of Sustainability. As a professional chef with his own catering business, Doug possesses a strong interest in food sustainability.

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