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IHG Hotels & Resorts aims to eliminate use of 850 tonnes of plastic

Full-sized Dove bathroom amenities and recycling feature in the plans

IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced a global collaboration with consumer goods company Unilever to replace bathroom miniatures with full-sized amenities in more than 4,000 hotels.

In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit to all of its hotel brands removing toiletry miniatures in favour of larger amenities, a key step in its pledge to eliminate single-use plastic items in hotels by 2030.

Unilever’s best-selling brand, Dove, will supply full-size hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion to IHG Essentials and Suites Collection hotels, including Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express in the EMEAA region. 

The roll out of full-size Unilever products across IHG’s mainstream brands, which accounts for around 80% of IHG’s portfolio, follows the recent launch of larger bathroom amenities in InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties.

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The switch to full-size amenity formats is expected to save at least 850 tonnes of plastic annually in IHG’s Americas region alone – the equivalent weight of five fully-grown blue whales or 70 double-decker London buses.

IHG’s commitment to pioneer the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry forms part of its 10-year Journey to Tomorrow “responsible business plan”, which includes a series of ambitious targets to drive positive change “for people, communities and the planet”. Along with switching to bulk amenities, the group is working to eliminate other single-use items, minimise food waste and adopt circular solutions for major hotel commodity items by 2030.

Unilever’s plans to help create a circular economy for plastic by 2025 are to:

  • halve the amount of virgin plastic it uses in its packaging,
  • achieve an absolute reduction in plastic of more than 100,000 tonnes
  • collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells
  • ensure that 100% of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • use at least 25% recycled plastic in its packaging

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Commenting on the news, IHG Hotels & Resorts executive vice president, Global Corporate Affairs Yasmin Diamond said: “IHG has pioneered the move to minimal waste in the hospitality industry and we’re excited to spell the end of bathroom miniatures through our collaboration with Unilever.

“Our guests are increasingly mindful of the impact their travel choices have on the environment. Our colleagues, investors, owners and suppliers all expect us to act responsibly. Transitioning to bulk amenities across our global estate was one of our first significant steps towards eliminating single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030.”

Unilever International CEO Umesh Shah added: “Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace, and we have ambitious targets across every part of our business. We are pleased to partner with IHG Hotels & Resorts to help extend sustainable living into the travel industry by providing bathrooms with bulk amenities. Through this collaboration, IHG’s guests will enjoy a range of products from Dove during their stay, while reducing their use of plastic.”

For more information, visit www.ihgplc.com

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