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Hyatt joins Marriott and IHG by promising to get rid of single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion with large-format bathroom amenities. Hotels are wisely promising to do what they can to mitigate waste. Let's see if they can make their deadlines.

Travel Beyond Plastics is a groundbreaking new Skift series about the travel industry’s addiction to plastics and what happens when companies and travelers try to kick this unsustainable habit.

Hyatt Hotels is joining its competitors in getting rid of single-use plastic bottles of toiletries.

The company announced on Tuesday that it will replace individual bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion with large-format bathroom amenities, following similar moves by Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group.

Hyatt will also discourage the use of single-use plastic bottles of water by increasing the number of drinking fountain-type water stations in public areas for guests to refill reusable containers. For meetings and events, water will be offered in carafes.

The initiatives will be introduced as soon as possible at properties around the world and will be applied company-wide no later than June 2021. The Chicago-based company has 20 brands, including Park Hyatt and Andaz, and 875 properties around the world.

Hyatt also started eliminating single-use plastic straws and drink picks in September 2018.

“This is a topic that more and more customers and guests and the public in general are paying attention to. There will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life by 2050,” Hyatt’s director of environmental affairs Marie Fukudome said, citing a prediction from a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

“There’s certainly a sense of urgency, and we are seeing that our guests are looking for these types of solutions,” Fukudome said.

The hotel industry has stepped up its efforts to reduce waste. Marriott, the largest hotel company in the world, also said earlier this year that it will replace small plastic bottles of toiletries with large containers or wall-mounted dispensers by December 2020. That comes after promising last year that it would remove disposable plastic straws and stirrers from its more than 6,500 properties worldwide. Many of its hotels also offer guests the ability to refill their reusable water bottles.

IHG pledged to get rid of miniature bath bottles by 2021 at its more than 5,600 hotels. The company estimates it uses about 200 million small bottles each year. IHG by the end of this year plans to remove plastic straws as well.

“As more companies take similar steps, it helps make a broader impact,” Fukudome said.

In California, hotel companies won’t have a choice. Small plastic shampoo bottles will disappear from hotels there after Gov. Gavin Newsroom signed a law in October banning the use of them. The law will take effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms and in 2024 for hotels with less than 50 rooms. Fines for violations could be as high as $2,000.

The large-format containers that Hyatt will use will still be made of plastic. Fukudome said larger bottles are still better for the environment because many are refillable and those that are not can be recycled more easily. Many of the smaller bottles also go partially used whereas the larger bottles won’t be refilled or replaced until the shampoo or other product is done.

Hyatt has made other efforts to promote sustainability, including increasing the use of compostable, recyclable, or recycled content packaging for to-go food containers.

“At Hyatt, our purpose — we care for people so they can be their best — guides all business decisions, including our global sustainability framework, which focuses on using resources responsibly and helping address today’s most pressing environmental issues,” Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said in a written statement. “Plastic pollution is a global issue, and we hope our efforts will motivate guests, customers and, indeed, ourselves to think more critically about our use of plastic.”

Individual properties have also introduced other environmentally friendly practices. Hotels, such as the Hyatt Regency Delhi and the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, have in-house bottling plants that reuse glass bottles and replace single-use bottles. The Park Hyatt Instanbul – Macka Palas has filtered water spouts in all guestrooms. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa and the Miraval Arizona are among many properties that give guests reusable bottles at check-in.

[CORRECTION:]: An earlier version of this story incorrectly ran Marie Fukudome’s first name as Maria.

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Tags: climate change, Hyatt Hotels, ihg, marriott, single use plastics, sustainability, travel beyond plastics

Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels plans to remove single-use plastic bottles with these larger containers in an effort to reduce waste. The larger containers are more easily recycled. Hyatt Hotels

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