I know I’m not the only one who has a collection of toiletries from various hotels I’ve visited. I’ll even get excited to stay at a specific hotel if I really like the brand of toiletries they use. The news that IHG Hotels is going to remove the small plastic toiletries bottles from all of their hotels and move towards using larger size refillable containers by the end of 2021 was a bit of a shock.
I’m not saying this because I don’t care about the environment and I know these little plastic bottles have to go somewhere. I’m also aware that smaller packaging is much less efficient and results in a larger amount of waste being generated. Taking all of that into account, there’s still going to be a part of me that will miss bringing home some shampoo that will bring back memories of my vacation.
After giving it some thought, I realized that the world’s not going to end over this. Hopefully, it will get to last a little longer if we use less plastic. With a little advance planning, I’ll still be able to enjoy my favorite hotel toiletries at home.
It’s not like we’ve never stayed at hotels with refillable containers before.
Our rooms at the Grand Canyon, including the Thunderbird Lodge, had them because the hotels there are very into conserving the environment. I liked these containers because you could easily see when they needed refilling.
We also had bulk dispensers in the shower during our stay at a Moxy Hotel in Tempe, AZ.
While IHG is the first major hotel chain to make this change, they’re not the first hotels to go to bulk dispensers. The value and moderate resorts at Walt Disney World have been using these dispensers since 2018.
Disney being Disney, they also solved the problem of people being disappointed about not being able to bring home the toiletries. To get your Disney fix at home, they sell them at the hotel gift shops and from the shopDisney website.
The same goes for the Bliss products used at W Hotels.
That’s great, but this article isn’t about me being able to buy the toiletries, it’s about me being able to steal the toiletries. Then it hit me. I almost always bring my own shampoo with me and in there is the solution.
If the hotel is going to give me a bulk dispenser, all I need to do is bring a bunch of empty containers with me when I travel. If I really like the soap or shampoo, all I need to do is fill ’em up! Problem solved. So simple.
If you don’t have any empty containers, Walgreens sells a 4 pack for $5.29. Even better, they’re reusable, so that’s also good for the environment.
Of all the problems to be worrying about, this is pretty far down on the list but I did hear some grumbles when IHG’s plans were announced. I’m going to take them at their word and say this is an environmentally friendly and not a financially motivated decision. While some people have concerns with the safety and security of bulk dispensers, this is just one more thing to put on the list of things I choose not to worry about when staying in hotels.
In reality, will I bring an empty container with me when traveling to fill up with the soap and shampoo from every hotel? Probably not. But if I have a stay at a nicer hotel, I might throw one or two empty bottles in my suitcase just in case I really like the product and want to bring some back home with me. This will end up saving me money because I’ll no longer have to leave extra tip money for housekeeping when I ask for extra toiletries. I’m not going to straight-up steal them from the cart, what type of person do you think I am?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary