IHG and Unilever Join Forces to End Single-use Bathroom Miniatures

Unilever Dove products hung up on shower wall

IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced a global collaboration with Unilever to replace bathroom miniatures with bulk amenities in over 4,000 properties.

In 2019, IHG became the first multinational hotel company to remove bathroom miniatures from all of its hotel brands in favour of larger-size amenities. This was a significant step in its pledge to eliminate single-use items throughout its properties by 2030. Currently, all of IHG's markets are covered by bulk bathroom amenity contracts. 

Unilever's largest brand, Dove, will supply full-size hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion to IHG Essentials and Suites Collection hotels, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, avid hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites, accounting for around 80 percent of IHG's portfolio.

The switch to full-size formats is forecasted to save at least 850 tonnes of plastic per annum in IHG's Americas region alone – the equivalent weight of five adult blue whales or 70 double-decker London buses.

IHG has pioneered the movement to minimise waste in the hospitality industry and spell the end of bathroom miniatures through its latest collaboration with Unilever. 

"Our guests are increasingly mindful of the impact their travel choices have on the environment, and our colleagues, investors, owners and suppliers all expect us to act responsibly," said Yasmin Diamond, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, IHG Hotels & Resorts. "Transitioning to bulk amenities across our global estate was one of our first significant steps towards eliminating single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030. We'll continue to find innovative solutions for operating more sustainably to deliver our purpose of True Hospitality for Good."

IHG's dedication to pioneering the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry is part of its ten-year Journey to Tomorrow responsible business plan, featuring a string of ambitious targets to compel positive change for people, communities and the planet. In addition to switching to bulk amenities, the group is working to eradicate single-use items, minimise food waste and embrace circular solutions for major hotel commodity items by 2030.    

Like IHG, Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace with ambitious targets across all facets of its business. 

Unilever's 2025 plans to help build a circular economy for plastic. Commitments include: 

  • Halving the amount of virgin plastic used in its packaging and achieving an absolute reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes.
  • Collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells; ensure 100 percent of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Using 25 percent recycled plastic in its packaging.

"We are pleased to partner with IHG Hotels & Resorts to help extend sustainable living into the travel industry by providing bathrooms with bulk amenities," said Umesh Shah, CEO of Unilever International. "Through this collaboration, IHG's guests will enjoy a range of products from Dove during their stay while reducing their use of plastic."