IHG to remove plastic straws from hotels worldwide

Plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region

IHG colleagues cleaning plastic waste from the banks of the River Thames.
IHG colleagues cleaning plastic waste from the banks of the River Thames.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has revealed that it will remove plastic straws from its hotels worldwide by the end of 2019, representing more than 5,400 hotels in nearly 100 countries.

Plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region and the company are introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities to several hotel brands in the Americas, as part of broader efforts to reduce waste.

Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, commented: “IHG is in almost 100 countries and we touch the lives of millions of people each day. This gives us a responsibility to protect the environment and an opportunity to make a real difference. There is always more we can do to minimise waste, but the work we’re doing to reduce single-use plastic is a powerful example of how we can come together with guests, owners and colleagues to drive positive change.

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Madhu Rajesh, director, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), commented: “IHG’s committed action to reduce plastic waste demonstrates its ability to be a force for good in local communities around the world. With initiatives like these, and through close industry collaboration, the hotel and tourism industry can continue to lead the way in setting clear and quantifiable commitments that improve sustainability. This was central to ITP’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and allows our industry to be at the forefront of sustainable growth.”

Reducing waste through the removal of plastic drinking straws worldwide

IHG's decision to remove plastic straws from our global estate will eliminate an average of 50 million single-use plastic straws from more than 5,400 IHG-branded hotels each year. Laid end-to-end, the straws removed would span some 10,500 kilometres – stretching from New York to Tokyo. The removal of plastic drinking straws will be implemented through a global brand standard, with biodegradable alternatives to be made available.

Bulk bathroom amenities in the Americas

IHG is introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities across several brands in our Americas region. Its Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands are all increasing their adoption of larger-size dispensers. The group's Even Hotels and avid hotels brands have included bulk-size amenities since they were launched, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants began rolling them out last year. Sustainability is also an important part of IHG’s approach to developing our new upscale brand, voco Hotels. 

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