No More Bathroom Miniatures At ANY IHG Hotels – What Do You Think About The Change?

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IHG Hotels (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, etc) announced today that it will be removing miniature shampoo/conditioner/shower gel/etc bottles from its “entire hotel estate of almost 843,000 guest rooms”, switching to bulk-size bathroom amenities instead. The transition is set to be completed during 2021.

Intercontinental Prague

IHG claims that this is an important part of its commitment to reducing its use of single use plastic:

“IHG currently has an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures in use across its entire hotel estate every year. As the new brand standard is adopted between now and 2021, the company expects to see a significant reduction in plastic waste. This commitment builds on IHG’s pledge to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019, and a number of broader waste reduction initiatives already in place.”

Good idea?

This is one of those issues that seems to drive perfectly sane people a little mad. InsideFlyer’s good pal Gary Leff over at US-blog View From The Wing, for instance, has branded the change “AWFUL”.

I certainly agree with his assessment that IHG are more interested in the money the change will save the company, rather than pursuing a genuine commitment to the environment – but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad policy.

Could IHG have selected a type of packaging for bathroom miniatures that didn’t involve plastic? Absolutely, but it would probably cost them more and the environmental benefits would likely be lower than switching to bulk containers too.

I’ve stayed at scores of hotels that already use bulk containers – and it’s really not something that bothers me at all. I understand that some people will have concerns about germs, or the bulk containers being tampered with in some way, but if you are at all worried, there’s an easy solution: bring your own shampoo. Or, buy some when you arrive.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi
No more of these

I don’t like to be dismissive, but when I read comments saying that people will now boycott IHG, or equally, comments from people that refuse to stay at particular hotel chains because they do continue to offer plastic bathroom miniatures, I struggle to understand the passion.

If you don’t want to use bulk shampoo containers – no problem, bring your own…

If you don’t want to use plastic bathroom miniatures – no problem, bring your own…

Surely there are more important factors when it comes to choosing a hotel?

Bottom line

Is this an OUTRAGE, or is it FANTASTIC? Or, is it just not that big a deal…

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 😉


  1. 7wood says

    My wife has asthma which is not helped by the “fragrances” used in supplied toiletries – after many years of avoidance I just can’t stand the smell either!

    So if it’s a big bottle, little bottles or no bottles at all we always bring our own fragrance free stuff!

    A big or little bottle of free wine would be better anyway!

  2. chris says

    Quite a few hotels I have stayed in this year have adopted this; Kimpton’s seem to use it to upsell the bottles to you. When the quality stays the same or goes up to a higher quality brand I have no issue.

    When its an excuse to put any trash into the dispensers – looking at you intercontinental in french polynesia – its a misery – especially in a world of 100ml containers.

  3. Mike G says

    It’s about time, and a good encouraging move, but I’ll miss the Crowne Plaza toiletries. They have always been good enough to take away and use again, ironically.

  4. Russell Poynter says

    It’s a step in the right direction- I did use them but hotels need to reduce their plastic use and this is a step in the right direction. Let’s hope there are many more meaningful steps in the years to come.

  5. J de Meyere says

    I do not support this. Hotel save costs (in the same way as some chains do not want to clean my room everyday – “it is unnecessary cleaning” they say). Where is my discount on the price? It is paid for. So far I have not seen anything….
    If you do not like the bottles provided just don’t use them or bring your own – how difficult can it be?

    • Chris says

      I absolutely agree, it probably saves them lots of money and these savings are not being passed on and so far i have always associated bulk containers with cheaper hotels.

  6. Ian Leslie says

    It’s s great idea … the radisson park inn have been doing it for years . It’s not wasteful .
    The quality always appears better out these bulk container

  7. James Davenport says

    As stated, IHG are probably more interested in the money, but this doesn’t make it a bad idea.

    • Tony O'Connor says

      In general I think it’s a good , practical and sensible move. However, am I the only person who doesn’t like using liquid soap, and prefers a bar?. If they supply large dispensers and the option of a small bar of soap (paper wrapped), I would be happy.
      I stay in hotels through work about 150 nights a year, and I avoid booking hotels that don’t provide solid soap…. Simple. ( I don’t particularly want to carry used wet soap around in a soap dish which is why I don’t take my own). It may seem a bit extreme but if I have a choice the solid soap hotel gets the booking.
      Maybe they can use their savings to ensure their guests have a choice.

      • Melanie Dom says

        Why not just take your own bar? I always carry my own bar of soap in one of those little tins. Saves opening theirs and using it for a couple of days after which they throw it away!! You could carry your own shampoo bar in a little tin too!!

  8. Melanie Dom says

    I am delighted to hear that IHG are ditching their single use amenities and will be providing bulk products instead. It infuriates me when I go to hotels that not only provide teeny tiny bottles of ‘stuff’ but also insist on taking away the half used ones and replacing them daily. Now I tend to take my own shampoo bars and soap but am very happy when I see that a hotel has switched to a more environmental product. Now they need to do away with the soppy little bottles of water in plastic bottles that they put by your bedside each night. Why don’t they just provide a 1L glass bottle of purified water as I have seen other hotels do. Still, at least it is a step in the right direction

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