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Hotel plastic use has reached shocking numbers. The culprits are usually single-use plastic products – small shampoo and shower bottles, straws, water bottles and trash bags. When they're out of their usual environment, many people tend to be less conscious about their plastic usage.  

There are many ways to reduce plastic usage at your hotel, which we will look at in more detail in this article. As more and more guests decide to favor sustainable properties, the hospitality industry must work to reduce excessive plastic use and do its part to help reverse the environmental crisis.


Why is it important to reduce plastic usage in hotels? 

The hospitality industry produces a startling 150 million tons of single-use plastic annually. Although most industries should implement eco-friendly measures, hotels can make a remarkable impact by making small changes in the amenities and how they offer services.

Modern guests are looking to stay at hotels that implement sustainable practices. So, while reducing plastic usage has positive effects on environmental change, it's also improving your hotel's bottom line and brand reputation. 


What are the benefits of reducing plastic in hotels? 

Modern guests are looking to stay at hotels that implement sustainable practices. So, while reducing plastic usage has positive effects on environmental change, it's also improving your hotel's bottom line and brand reputation. 

Healthier environment 

Reducing the use of plastic in hotels can help minimize the negative effects of plastic waste on the environment, including ocean pollution, degradation of wildlife habitats and the impact of microplastics. Hotels can set an example for guests to help preserve natural resources and protect biodiversity. 

Improving the brand and guest experience 

Many environmentally conscious guests want to reduce their plastic footprint. Taking steps to curb the negative impact of the hospitality industry on the environment can enhance the overall guest experience. It will also attract more sustainably minded guests while giving your hotel brand a competitive advantage. 

Cost savings 

Moving away from single-use plastic may require an initial investment in alternatives like reusable containers and bulk toiletries. However, hotels can save money in the long run, as disposable plastic items generally cost more than reusable alternatives. 

Employee and community engagement 

Implementing plastic-saving measures can improve employee engagement by giving them a sense of purpose and taking pride in working for an environmentally conscious company. Try to connect with local communities through organized cleanups and partner with local environmental organizations. 

Four best ways to reduce plastic in hotels 

To reduce plastic in hotels, start with the 4 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. “Reduce” is about reducing the waste you create, whereas “reuse” is about reusing items – washing out glass bottles and sterilizing them to be used again.  
“Recycle” means separating plastic, glass and compost instead of throwing trash away or putting old products to new uses. “Rethink” is about considering how your actions affect the environment and finding new solutions.   

Replace single-use amenities  

Amenities can make a difference in the guest experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to make bad environmental choices. One of the best ways to reduce plastic in hotels is to replace single-use amenities with reusable or refillable glass or ceramic bottles. Why not fill a nice amber glass bottle with a locally produced shampoo or soap? Not only does it look nicer, but it is better for the environment.   

Skip individually packed amenities – place them in a cute basket or a branded reusable bag instead. Presenting them in creative ways will also leave a positive impression on guests. 

Favor reusable water containers 

Get inspired by modern airports and set up hydrating stations where you provide glasses for guests to take water themselves. You can also provide guests with a branded water bottle upon arrival. They can use it to refill water during their stay and then take it home as a souvenir.  

Along with word-of-mouth marketing, you get a testament to the sustainability of your hotel’s operations. If you have a bar or a restaurant, use reusable glass bottles instead of plastic ones. 

Stop using plastic trash bags 

Hotels produce a lot of waste – your housekeepers must replace trash bags in the rooms daily. A great way to reduce plastic is by using biodegradable bags. And when there's not a lot of waste in the trash bins, you may ask housekeeping staff to empty the trash without replacing the bag. 

Make recycling easy 

Encouraging people to recycle is all about making it easy. Equip your housekeeping carts with different bins so that your staff can easily separate regular waste from compost, recyclables and containers that can be reused after sterilizing.  
Or, place those bins in the rooms to encourage guests to contribute to the four R’s. Informative signs throughout the hotel will explain to guests how to use them and show that your hotel is trying to be more environmentally conscious. 


We’ve explored the best ways to reduce hotel plastic usage for environmental purposes. These eco-friendly practices can also save money and make your hotel more attractive to new types of travelers. Overall, by reducing plastic use, hotels can proactively take steps toward protecting the planet while positively impacting the business.