Marriott has just announced that they will be replacing the individual bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap, with in-shower dispensers. In the past we’ve seen this at some limited service hotels (since this is obviously lower cost), though it’s now coming to actual Marriott properties.
New @MarriottIntl plastic #sustainability initiative is expected to save an average of 250 lbs. of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel—approximately 23,000 plastic bottles. https://t.co/nn4VjHqqHV via @LodgingMagazine #Serve360 pic.twitter.com/9Bhijon2E6
— Marriott Internat'l (@MarriottIntl) April 10, 2018
This will be required for all 450 Marriott hotels that are managed directly by the company in North America, and will be optional for franchised hotels. Not surprisingly, this is being marketed as a plastic-saving initiative, though Marriott’s VP of sustainability calls it a “win-win:”
“This is a win-win from a sustainability perspective, operational perspective, and financial perspective.”
“Many of our franchisees share our values and are just as passionate as we are about subjects like this. It’s part of our DNA, and we’re always looking towards opportunities that make a difference. This is one.”
I love how guests are left out of the “win-win” equation. I can appreciate the desire to do good for the environment, though there’s no denying that hotels largely use this as an opportunity to cut costs. It’s the same as hotels encouraging you not to have your sheets changed too often, and to limit water use.
Marriott says that this new program will save an average of 250 pounds of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel, which translates to 23,000 plastic bottles. Marriott says that this will save most owners $1,000 to $2,000 per year (which frankly is less than I was expecting).
Rather suspiciously, Marriott claims that the feedback for this during their test program has been “almost universally positive,” per Lodging Magazine:
Guests were also enthusiastic about the program throughout Marriott’s pilot testing. “There was almost universally positive feedback from out guests. We wanted to make sure that if a guest really wanted to have their own amenity bottles they could take them, they were still available on request,” Naguib says.
They received “almost universally positive feedback?” Really? I’ve written in the past about my suspicions regarding how companies collect feedback, and this is one of those situations. I can appreciate that normal bottles may still be available on demand, though in practice most us won’t go through the effort of requesting them.
There’s something that feels inherently low end about these dispensers, though perhaps that’s just because up until now those are the hotels I’ve associated this with.
Really my issue with these dispensers is twofold:
- I question their cleanliness; everyone is pushing the pump in the same place while touching every body part imaginable, and I question how well the pumps are cleaned
- I find that these dispensers don’t work far too often; it’s one thing if they consistently worked, but I find that a good percentage of the time I have issues
Where do you stand on this — is this a reasonable environmental measure for hotels to take, or is this just a simple way for them to cut costs? Do you care?
(Tip of the hat to Dennis)