Holiday Inn will stop providing mini plastic toiletries to help save the oceans

By Sophie Lewis

/ CBS News

Plastics pollution crisis worsens worldwide

Grab the last of those mini hotel shampoos while you still can — Holiday Inn is ditching its tiny toiletries in more than 5,600 hotels. The hotel chain announced Tuesday that it's working to reduce its plastic waste.

Holiday Inn and InterContinental Hotels (IHG) said its nearly 843,000 rooms are switching to bulk dispensers, refillable bottles and ceramic containers for all bathroom products. The company hopes to complete the transition by 2021 in an effort to keep plastic waste out of the oceans.

"Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change," said InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr in a press release.

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According to Barr, one-third of IHG properties have already made the switch. "We're passionate about sustainability and we'll continue to explore ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our local communities," he said.

IHG averages 200 million miniature bathroom products across its hotels every year. It is employing several efforts to reduce waste overall, including removing plastic straws by the end of 2019.

The last straw: Seattle's drinking straw ban

Despite global efforts to curb the problem, plastic use is set to increase through the next decade as oil and gas companies double down on petrochemicals production. Many environmental activists say the U.S. should halt plastics production altogether.

Scientists are warning about the exponentially increasing dangers of plastic waste in our oceans, in part because the plastic trash goes into the marine food chain. Recycling is only a partial solution because most products cannot be recycled.

Large amounts of garbage have been found in dead sea animals around the world in recent years. In March, a dead whale with almost 100 pounds of plastic in its stomach washed up ashore in the Philippines.

Last November, a dead whale that washed ashore in Indonesia had a large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, including 115 plastic cups and two flip-flops. In June 2018, almost 20 pounds of plastic bags and other plastic trash were pulled from the stomach of a pilot whale that died in Thailand.

Big companies join initiative to curb plastic production

First published on July 30, 2019 / 6:46 PM

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