IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has today announced that it will remove plastic straws from its global estate by the end of 2019, representing more than 5,400 hotels in nearly 100 countries.
Plastic straws have already been removed from nearly 1,000 hotels in the Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region. Laid end-to-end, the straws removed would span some 10,500 kilometres - stretching from New York to Tokyo. The removal of plastic drinking straws will be implemented through a global brand standard, with biodegradable alternatives to be made available.
The group is also introducing bulk-size bathroom amenities to several hotel brands in the Americas, as part of broader efforts to reduce waste.
Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, commented, 'IHG is in almost 100 countries and we touch the lives of millions of people each day. This gives us a responsibility to protect the environment and an opportunity to make a real difference. 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.
'This work is not going unrecognised. Very recently we were named an industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the second year running, which is a real point of pride for us and recognition of the hard work and dedication of our people and partners around the world.'
Madhu Rajesh, Director, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), commented, 'IHG's committed action to reduce plastic waste demonstrates its ability to be a force for good in local communities around the world. With initiatives like these, and through close collaboration, the hotel and tourism industry can continue to lead the way in setting clear and quantifiable commitments that improve sustainability.
'This was central to ITP's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and allows our industry to be at the forefront of sustainable growth.'