Hotels have been hit hard in recent months. With properties around the world slowly starting to re-open, will major chains now abandon plans to eliminate single-use toiletries due to COVID-19?
Hotels Plan(ned?) To Introduce Bulk Toiletries
Prior to the pandemic, major hotel chains announced plans to eliminate single-use toiletries in hotel rooms worldwide.
- Accor – by 2022
- Hilton – by December 2020
- Hyatt – by June 2021
- IHG – by 2021
- Marriott – by December 2020
Hotels have always framed this argument from an environmental perspective. For example, Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said:
“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. 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.”
And of course there are cost-savings involved in bulk unless people start draining the bulk containers…
A New Priority For Hotel Toiletries?
I’m going to assume that the environmental goals remains unchanged. But now there is a new goal: health and sanitation.
Protecting health and protecting the environment are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but may be in the case of hotel toiletries.
Advocates of bulk toiletries argue:
- There’s not compelling evidence they are unhygienic
- You can also tamper with single-use toiletries
- Housekeepers have a process for cleaning rooms, and part of that process is checking how full the dispensers are
While opponents argue:
- It’s unhygienic
- It encourages use of counterfeit products
- They’re more likely to be left empty
I prefer individual bottles, but don’t really care either way since I’ll just bring my own.
But can you imagine, especially during a time in which hotels are trying to win back customers and convince everyone their hotels are clean, something like this shared on social media?
Bulk hotel toiletries are the best. Keep saving the world hotel companies. pic.twitter.com/Ix8UoCgqRR
— Richard Kerr (@KerrPoints) November 4, 2019
In California, ironically, grocery stores are back to offering single-use plastic bags on a complimentary basis. Reusuable bags have been banned by most grocery stores due to hygiene concerns. It just makes me think California, the first state to ban the single-use of toiletries, will also loosen up that law as well. Hotels may have to decide whether the extra expense of individual bottles is worth the peace of mind it brings some guests.