Don’t Take My Bottles Away!

By Jake Tewel

There was a recent news article that, I’m sure, went largely unnoticed by anyone who saw it.  It was hardly a big deal and I suspect it was mostly met with a yawn and a “who cares”. Marriott International announced it will eliminate the iconic small shampoo bottles and replacing them with wall-mounted dispensers. Oh no! Are they kidding?  

I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and have been a guest at countless hotels and resorts. I have enjoyed taking home the small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel throughout my travels. As a Lifetime Titanium Elite member of the Marriott Rewards program, I officially object!!!

For the attendees of nonprofit conventions at various properties, these little bottles have practically been a souvenir of the event and are easily allowed through airport security since their tiny size made them TSA friendly.

Marriott International (MAR) is the largest hotel chain in the world, with over 7,000 hotels, and over 30 brands in more than 130 countries. They have such a large footprint in the tourism industry. However, by next year, I suspect that my collection of tiny shampoo bottles will be greatly diminished.

The reason for this change was explained by the CEO of Marriott, Arne Morris Sorenson. The change is part of a global initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impact of these tiny bottles that cannot be recycled. He went on to say that they will be getting rid of 500 million small bottles each year, or 1.7 million pounds of plastic. Everyone must do their part in increasing global accountability when it comes to the environment and it seems that by saying Marriott International will eliminate the iconic small shampoo bottles it’s doing just that.

OK, now that makes sense. I too, am on board, after finding out the reasoning.

With environmental issues occurring all over the world, the increased awareness for the issue could not have come at a better time. The state of California and the European Union will be banning a variety of small plastic products in the near future, with more legislation seemingly on the horizon. We have read about the increase of plastic waste in the oceans and the harm that has been caused to marine animals. Marriott International is just an example of the path other industry leading companies should follow. Funding helps further these causes. Companies and governments can use resources such as GrantWatch to find those needed resources.

About the author: Jake Tewel holds a master’s degree from YU, is a wine seller and caterer and a million-mile traveler for the past 15 years. Jake is a best friend, great neighbor, your go-to travel person, father, grandfather, and loving husband. He is now focusing his efforts on heart-healthy nutrition, exercise, and travel.