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Marriott Is Phasing Out Tiny Plastic Toiletry Bottles

The world's largest hotel chain says larger bottles will reduce plastic waste and let guests use more product.
Posted at 9:16 PM, Aug 28, 2019

Everybody knows about those mini bottles of shampoo or lotion at hotels. While they're meant for guests' convenience, Marriott International says they're not doing any good for the environment. So on Wednesday, the world's largest hotel chain announced it's phasing out the single-use mini toiletry bottles at its locations across the globe. 

The company says the tiny bottles end up in landfills because they're not usually recycled, they're just thrown away. But a new campaign slogan is asking customers to "Get Pumped for the Planet," because Marriott is replacing them with larger, pump-topped bottles. These are recyclable and will allow guests to use more product, since one larger bottle holds as much as about 10-12 of the mini bottles. 

The company first announced the initiative in 2018 in five of its brands, and it's already supplied more than 20% of it's more than 7,000 properties with the larger bottles. But now, it's going worldwide.

Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, says reducing the company's environmental impact is a huge priority. "Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels."

The company is working toward several sustainability goals, including reducing landfill waste by 45% and finding responsible sources for its top 10 product purchase categories by 2025.

This shower amenities initiative is Marriott's second global plastic reduction initiative. A little over a year ago, it began phasing out disposable plastic straws and stirrers, and it met its reduction goal last month. Previously, it says it was sending 1 billion plastic straws to landfills every year. 

When this toiletry initiative is fully implemented, Marriott says it will keep 500 million tiny plastic bottles out of landfills every year. That adds up to about 1.7 million pounds of plastic. 

So far, Marriott has already replaced the single-use bottles with larger ones at about 1,000 properties in North America. It hopes to have the rest of the hotels switched over by December 2020.