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Published on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Marriott to phase out miniature plastic toiletries

From the end of next year there will be one less thing for hotel guests to swipe from Marriott hotel rooms.

The world's largest hotel chain is removing small plastic toiletry bottles.

The small shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles will be eliminated from all hotels worldwide by December 2020.

With more than 7,000 hotels, that amounts to 500 million small bottles each year and about 1.7 million pounds of plastic.

The move comes after rival hotel giant, IHG, announced it was also phasing out miniature toiletries by the end of 2021.

According to Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson the company has been meaning to ditch them for years but has struggled to find suitable larger dispensers.

Now it has been able to source sufficient supplies of suitable tamper-resistant large bottles.

"There were a lot of technical features to this that we had to get right," Sorenson said.

The new dispensers will still be plastic but will be tamper resistant and hold at least 10 times the amount of shampoo or shower gel.

They are also easier to recycle.

Marriott began replacing small bottles with larger ones or pump dispensers at some US hotels and feedback has been positive based on guest surveys.

"More and more people have a general consciousness of it. They don't want to be leaving half-empty bottles," said Denise Naguib, Marriott's vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity.

Naguib said lower tier brands will have wall dispensers while luxury brands will have large freestanding bottles.

Sorenson said some complaints are inevitable, especially from light-fingered guests who like to pilfer hotel shampoo bottles to take home as a souvenir.

"Human nature is what it is and we resist change but people understand that this is so much better."

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