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Photo: voco / IHG

IHG to remove plastic straws from hotels worldwide

The global hotel giant says it will be removing unnecessary plastics from its 5,400-plus properties by the end of next year.

InterContinental Hotels Group says it will remove plastic straws from its hotels around the world by the end of 2019.

It will be enforcing the rules across the more than 5,400 hotels it franchises, leases, manages or owns, in almost 100 countries. It also has nearly 1,800 more hotels in its development pipeline.

IHG’s portfolio of brands include Regent, InterContinental, Kimpton, Indigo, Even, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, the new “charming upscale” brand voco, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

The group says that plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and it is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities to several hotel brands in the Americas as part of efforts to reduce waste.

The Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge and Candlewood brands are expanding their adoption of larger-size dispensers, while Even and avid hotels have had bulk-size amenities since they were launched and Kimpton began rolling them out last year.

Other waste reduction efforts are underway too. Through partnerships with Clean the World in the Americas and Soap for Hope in Asia, nearly 450 IHG-branded hotels have prevented nearly 200,000 kg of used soap from going to waste. Instead of heading to the landfill, the soap is recycled and distributed to communities.

Feeling responsible
Being in almost 100 countries “gives us a responsibility to protect the environment and an opportunity to make a real difference,” explains Keith Barr, IHG CEO.

“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,” he added.

The decision to remove plastic straws will eliminate an average of 50 million single-use plastic straws a year, the group estimates. Laid end-to-end, these straws would span 10,500 kilometres, stretching from New York to Tokyo. Biodegradable alternatives will be made available instead.

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