This morning in the car, I tuned into a radio morning show just as the hosts were getting into a lively debate about toilet paper. The topic was clearly discussion-worthy: a new trend of eco-conscious families replacing toilet paper with reusable/washable clothes.
Despite information being available in support of either trees or hygiene risks (depending on which side of the debate each host was on) emotions, not facts, fueled the conversation – as is very often the case when convenience vs. sustainability face off. The recent announcements that major hotel chains around the world, such as IHG® and Marriott®, were going to be transitioning hundreds of properties to amenity dispensers were met with a similarly emotional response. Doing away with the tiny bottles came as a shock to many. Mini keepsake single use units of shampoo have been a symbol of travel and the hotel experience for decades (you know, since Marietta invented them *wink*) and people are emotionally attached to them, but let’s take a closer look at this change and what you can expect when standing face-to-face with your first hotel amenity dispenser.
Dispensers are a big change for hotels and guests alike. A quick Google on the topic quickly reveals very polarized camps on this issue. Those for dispensers are cheering for the environment and view any footprint reduction as a win. Dispenser skeptics usually site sanitization concerns and mourn the loss of the souvenir aspect of the individual use bottles. In the interest of transparency, I’ll tell you that I have always looked forward to cute little hotel amenities that I can bring home, and there are many legitimate reasons why this 100% recyclable option will make more sense for many properties, but using a dispenser in a hotel personally provides me with a little bonus sense of accomplishment and I am a big supporter of any changes that any businesses are willing to make to help lessen the impact on our strained planet. When I stay at a hotel that has made the change, I associate them with progressive and mindful thinking and leadership. There are cost savings associated with this switch, yes, but they really aren’t significant enough to be the only driving factor. Research and surveys conducted at properties regarding new dispenser units have shown an overwhelming positive response from guests.
Marietta has partnered with two of the leading dispenser companies – Aquamenities and ReadyCare (EcoEclipse system) – to help make this transition as smooth as possible for hotels and guests alike. Both programs blend sophistication and sustainability allowing properties a refined answer to this pressing hotel waste concern. For those concerned with cleanliness, the dispensers are locking, tamper-resistant and made from high grade stainless steel and durable mold-resistant plastic. The accompanying bottles are made from PET plastic, the most recyclable resin available. Aquamenities studies have shown that properties can expect an average of 40-60% reduction in cost and a 98% reduction in waste each year. They are stylish, environmentally-conscious, easy to install and there is no steep learning curve. I believe in the power of educational signage and would encourage properties to share the benefits and reasoning behind the dispenser somewhere in the guest room to get out ahead of any unfavorable perceptions by helping the guest feel like they are part of an important solution.
These are brands, held in high esteem, that have industry-wide reputations for innovation, progressive thinking, and thoughtful product development and they are enthusiastically on board the dispenser train knowing that these are the steps we all must take going forward to ease our impact on our planet. NO changes have been made to our favorite products – still the formulations we have loved for years all made in the USA free of parabens, banned phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and minerals oils. Made with 100% pure water that meets USP (United States Pharmacopeia) 32 & control standards for purified water in our FDA compliant manufacturing facilities. They are now just easily dispensed right there in the shower and at the vanity counter.
We have enough evidence available to know that humans must change their habits to preserve this one precious earth. Denial just isn’t a good look. These dispensers prove that saving resources can be beautiful and simple. Marietta is proud to be supporting countless properties in reaching their sustainability and financial goals with our top-of-the-line dispenser programs. We understand that this can be a big change for hotels, so we have carefully curated a high-quality offering of branded, sophisticated, tamper-resistant dispensers that will become a natural extension of hotels’ brands. IHG®, InterContinental Hotels Group upscale Kimpton brand has been using big bottle dispensers successfully for nearly two years already and is implementing dispenser programs in four additional brands this year alone. Marriott implemented dispenser programs in 535 properties (as of 8/1/18 and still growing) and currently estimates reduction of 110kg of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel. That is a lot of plastic NOT bound for a landfill. Also, just a friendly reminder, we have all been using soap dispensers in public restrooms for decades without flinching. Conservation efforts require us to look closely at what we have been doing and actively seek out better ways of doing it going forward. We must re-think our single-use disposable habits and remember that what is convenient is not always best…especially for the environment.
I would love to hear about any of your personal experiences, positive or negative, with dispensers in hotels!