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Holiday Inn removing mini shampoos, other toiletries to reduce plastic pollution

Published:Tuesday | July 30, 2019 | 1:34 PM
In this file photo dated March 28, 2019, the sign for a Holiday Inn in New York. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, FILE)

LONDON (AP) — The fight to save the seas from plastic waste may mean the end for mini bottles of shampoo and other toiletries that hotel guests love to stuff into their luggage.

The owner of Holiday Inn and InterContinental Hotels said Tuesday that its nearly 843,000 guest rooms are switching to bulk-size bathroom amenities as part of an effort to cut waste.

The transition is due to be completed in 2021.

“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.

The hotel group, which uses an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures annually, said customers expect them to act responsibly.

And there is little doubt that public awareness of the problem of plastic waste has been swelling.

Global plastic production increased to 380 million metric tonnes or 418 million tonnes in 2015 from 2 million metric tonnes in 1950, according to research by Roland Geyer, a professor of industrial ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, together with Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia and Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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