IHG to ban away plastic straws

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SINGAPORE, 12 October 2018: InterContinental Hotels Group says it is committed to removing plastic straws from all of its hotels in 2019.

The task will involve removing and finding alternatives to plastic straws at 5,400 hotels in nearly 100 countries.

Plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in the group’s Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region.

IHG is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities to several hotel brands in the Americas, as part of broader efforts to reduce waste.

IHG CEO, Keith Barr commented: “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.

A member of the International Tourism Partnership, the group has made a commitment to reduce plastic waste through a wider ITP’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that supports UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Reducing waste through the removal of plastic drinking straws, worldwide, is just one of the initiatives.

IHG’s decision 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.

IHG is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities across several brands in the Americas. The Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands are all increasing their adoption of larger-size dispensers.

The 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.

IHG will seek to reduce single-use plastics by moving away from miniature bathroom amenities, working with the right suppliers to help IHG retain a quality feel and is exploring ways in which this approach can be applied to its other hotel brands.

IHG’s announcement on eliminating plastic straws comes just days before ITB Asia convenes in Singapore. It will be interesting to see which companies practice sustainability during the three-day show. In the past there has been little or no evidence that the organisers have been able to rein in the gross wastage of resources including single-use booth displays, printed waste, foam cups, plastic water bottles and styrofoam by the ton.

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