Marriott Will Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Toiletry Bottles From Its Hotels Worldwide

Marriott International — which has 7,000 properties worldwide — says it will no longer carry single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or bath gel, and will replace them with larger pump dispensers by the end of 2020, according to The Hill:

“Marriott estimates that the switch will prevent an estimated 1.7 million pounds of plastic going to landfills each year.”

CEO and President Arne Sorenson made the announcement in a statement:

“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us. Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels.”

Currently, Marriott offers pump-dispensers at about 20 percent of its hotels and other properties. They began that switch in 2018.

The problem of plastic in landfills is growing exponentially with each year, and the United States is one of the main reasons why, according to a report from The Guardian earlier this year:

“In total, only about half (56%) of the plastic waste that America once exported is still being accepted by foreign markets in the wake of China’s ban. This week, the Guardian revealed that what still goes overseas is inundating countries including Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia and Senegal. But much of what remains has nowhere to go.

“Analysis of US export records shows that the equivalent of 19,000 shipping containers of plastic recycling per month, once exported abroad, is now stranded at home. This is enough plastic to fill 250 Olympic swimming pools each month.”

Poorer nations that were once willing to accept plastic waste from western countries are saying enough is enough, the Los Angeles Times notes:

“Vietnam and Thailand have said they will block all imported plastic waste in the next few years. Taiwan announced it would accept only plastic scrap if sorted into a single type, making it easier to recycle.

“The Philippines and Malaysia are also considering outright bans and have led the way in demanding that exporting countries take back containers of waste that entered its ports illegally, often with improper documentation. Indonesia said last week that it had sent five containers of Canadian scrap paper back to Seattle, the transshipment point, after discovering that used plastic, wood, diapers and shoes were also packed inside.”

China, which used to accept plastic waste from the U.S., is also clamping down, which has only exacerbated the worldwide problem of what to do with plastic refuse:

“The Chinese government dropped a bombshell on the world recycling business: It cut back almost all imports of trash. And now a lot of that plastic gets shipped to other countries that don’t have the capacity to recycle it or dispose of it safely.”

Marriott is just the latest American multinational corporation to take an Earth-friendly approach when it comes to plastic waste. InterContinental Hotels Group, which operates Holiday Inn, said in July it will eliminate some 200 million small bottles from its properties by 2021.  Starbucks and McDonald’s have also pledge reduce or eliminate plastic products, including straws, to help cut back on waste.


Featured Image Via Wikimedia Commons



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