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Fri, 12 Oct 2018

IHG Makes Massive Commitment to Reduce Global Hotel Waste

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced that it will remove plastic straws from its global estate of more than 5,400 hotels in nearly 100 countries, by the end of 2019.

 Plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in IHG's Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region and the company is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities to several hotel brands in the Americas, as part of its broader efforts to reduce waste.

Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, said, IHG is in almost 100 countries and we touch the lives of millions of people each day. This gives us a responsibility to protect the environment and an opportunity to make a real difference. There is always more we can do to minimise waste, but the work were doing to reduce single-use plastic is a powerful example of how we can come together with guests, owners and colleagues to drive positive change.

IHG staff cleaning plastic waste from the banks of the River Thames in London, England. Click to enlarge.

IHG's decision to remove plastic straws from its properties around the world will each year eliminate about 50 million single-use plastic straws from more than 5,400 IHG-branded hotels. Laid end-to-end, the straws IHG removes would span some 10,500 kilometres stretching from New York to Tokyo. The removal of plastic drinking straws will be implemented through a global brand standard, with biodegradable alternatives to be made available.

Madhu Rajesh, Director, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), said, IHGs committed action to reduce plastic waste demonstrates its ability to be a force for good in local communities around the world. With initiatives like these, and through close collaboration, the hotel and tourism industry can continue to lead the way in setting clear and quantifiable commitments that improve sustainability. This was central to ITPs 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and allows our industry to be at the forefront of sustainable growth.

Bulk Bathroom Amenities in the Americas

IHG is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities across several brands in the Americas. Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands are all increasing their adoption of larger-size dispensers. EVEN Hotels and avid hotels brands have included bulk-size amenities since they were launched, while Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants began rolling them out last year.

The company is moving away from miniature bathroom amenities, and is currently working with different suppliers to see who can help the company retain the necessary quality and luxury across its other brands.

As part of its longer-term plans, IHG already has a number of other waste reduction efforts already underway around the world:

- Through partnerships with Clean the World in the Americas and Soap for Hope in Asia, nearly 450 IHG-branded hotels have collectively prevented nearly 200,000 kg of soap from going to waste. Instead of heading to landfill, the soap has been recycled into nearly three million new bars for redistribution to communities who need it the most.

- IHG Green Engage system, a well-established online sustainability programme, recommends ways for IHG branded hotels worldwide to manage their waste more effectively. This includes guidance on how they can handle, store, recycle and dispose of waste both on and off-site, to minimise environmental impact and costs.

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