Date: 21-02-2019
An estimate shows that on an average, guests in a hotel room use maximum 60 per cent of the bathroom amenities provided to them. Everything else, including its packaging, goes to waste. The question is whether the hospitality industry is prepared to move on to dispensers for guestroom bath amenities in order to eliminate the enormous waste that is the byproduct of individually packaged soaps and liquid amenities? 

How does this statement translate into figures?

A 500-room hotel uses on average 750 amenity bottles daily. These include shampoo, body lotion, shower gel and conditioner, adding up to 273,750 bottles a year. If you use 40 ml bottles and calculate 40 per cent wastage, the loss of liquid amenities is about 4,380 liters a year. A dispensing system for shower gels, shampoos and body lotion would virtually eliminate this waste. We certainly do not want to deprive our guests of bespoke guest amenities. What matters is how the amenities are presented and what is in the dispenser. Eliminating small size amenity bottles gives the hotelier the opportunity to keep something more luxurious in a dispenser bottle. Why not offer a designer fragrance since amenities offered in a dispenser have now become more affordable?

For a 500-room hotel in a luxury category, the cost of bathroom amenities can be as high as 150,000 to 180,000 USD per annum. By implementing a dispense system in the bathrooms, the hotel can save a substantial amount of this costs. Hotels in Europe and North America have begun to use dispensable amenities - an eco-friendly approach to guest amenities. Today, there is broad public awareness that plastic waste is a serious scourge for our planet, and hoteliers must change their approach to bath amenities and take a responsibility to make a difference.

Social media has triggered the urge to remove plastic straws from restaurants, coffee shops and fast food outlets. This has proven that we can always find an alternative to waste products. And for sure, the hotel industry can do better than just reinventing a straw - there is certainly larger plastic waste to think about.

Bathroom amenities are only partly used and then disposed resulting in tonnes of waste. This disposable plastic nightmare contributes to new landfills, which continue to be a growing menace. The left-over liquid product inside the bottle poses another environmental risk. The aim is to combine our efforts in order to keep millions of small plastic bottle out of the landfills every day. This will not be possible without the participation of some incredibly dedicated hotel chains and other independent hotels. Let’s start working towards a more sustainable hotel industry for which disposable plastic waste is a subject of the past.

About the Author: Tatjana Ahmed is the Chairwoman of the UAE Professional Housekeepers’ Group. She is also the Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai and a Functional Specialist with the group.