Tiny Toiletries Are Starting to Check Out of Hotel Chains

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pierivb/iStock via Getty Images / pierivb/iStock via Getty Images

Embarking on a trip guarantees a few things. Your airplane cabin is likely to be cramped, you’ll probably get lost at least once, and your hotel room bathroom will be stocked to the brim with tiny complimentary bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other amenities.

But if the policy of a major hotel chain catches on, those goods may soon be gone.

Last week, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that it would be banning the distribution of these “bathroom miniatures” in all 5600-plus of its hotels in 2021. That would mean 843,000 guest rooms under brands like Holiday Inn will no longer carry elf-sized personal care items. The decision is part of an effort to reduce the use of plastics, a movement that has seen plastic straw bans in restaurant chains and in cities like Seattle. IHG said the new policy will spare more than 200 million bottles annually.

IHG isn’t the only chain with an environmental bent. In 2018, Marriott announced they would be taking bottles out of 450 locations, eliminating 10.3 million of them annually.

What will guests get instead? IHG will use bulk products in refillable dispensers, similar to what you might see in public bathrooms that are either wall-mounted or freestanding.

While IHG is taking the initiative, it’s possible the prohibition on the bottles could become state law—at least in California. The state is reviewing Assembly Bill 1162, which passed the state's Assembly in May and would see plastic bottles banned in all hotels located there. The bill, which could be enacted in 2023, would still allow for hotel management to provide bottles to guests upon request.

[h/t New York Times]