Following the lead of Marriott, Hilton and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Hyatt has officially joined its corporate peers in kicking single-use plastic toiletries to the curb.
The hospitality brand announced Tuesday morning that it would be transitioning from “small bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotion,” to “large-format” containers in the brand’s 896 hotels and 219,308 rooms by June of 2021.
“At Hyatt, our purpose … guides all business decisions, including our global sustainability framework, which focuses on using resources responsibly and helping address today’s most pressing environmental issues,” said Hyatt’s CEO and president Mark Hoplamazian in a 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.”
IHG is also expecting to evict the toiletries by 2021. Hilton is expecting to make the transition to “full-size” amenity dispensers by 2022, but has already completed the transition in more than half of the brand’s 954,000 rooms. Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 7,100 properties and 1.3 million rooms, has given itself the shortest deadline, targeting January 2020 as its completion date.
Although miniature toiletries will be eliminated across the hotel chain’s 20 brands, Hyatt’s director of environmental affairs, Marie Fukudome, couldn’t provide details as to what will replace them or whether those containers will be refillable.
“There will be different solutions by brand,” Fukudome said. Hyatt will use a mix of containers “that can be refilled, and those that can be used and recycled.”
However, Fukudome noted that the larger bottles are much more easily recyclable than their miniature predecessors, which use multiple forms of plastic.
As far as whether the hotel would be using new suppliers, Fukudome said Hyatt would be working “closely with existing suppliers” but that it would “certainly be open to new suppliers as well.”
Advocates for a plastic-free world told Adweek the step is long-awaited and in the right direction.
“It’s about time, honestly. There’s no need to be making small, throw-away plastic bottles,” said Sybil Bullock, a representative of the group Break Free From Plastic.
Hyatt also announced that the brand would be replacing the water bottles available for meetings and events with “water in carafes,” though bottles would still be available on request.
The brand will also make water refilling stations more widely available for reusable bottles.
“The point is to have reusable and refillable [bottles]. That’s the best shift,” Bullock said. “What are the false solutions and what are the real solutions? Things that continue to promote single-use, disposable reliance are false solutions.”
While environmental activists applaud the shift away from tiny bottles, some nonprofits are concerned that the elimination of travel-sized miniatures could make life more complicated for transient communities.