A maker of small hotel shampoo and lotion bottles says it will not be impacted by a decision by one of the world's largest lodging companies to transition to larger containers.
Currier Plastics Inc. of Auburn, N.Y., said the move by InterContinental Hotel Group to do away with the small amenity bottles of bathroom products will not cause any job loss or machine idling.
"The travel industry is always something you have to watch. Back in 2008, there was a huge decline, and so we've paid attention to that. And what the market bears today is still the small bottles and caps but also dispensers," said Elizabeth Roberts, sales and marketing manager for Currier. "We're actually doing both."
Currier supplies bottles to contract manufacturers who sell the amenities to hotel chains, including IHG, she explained.
IHG has more than 840,000 guest rooms around the world, meaning millions of those bottles are distributed each day to package shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel.
IHG will transition to larger bottles at more than 5,600 hotels, a move that will eliminate more than 200 million small bottles each year.
The move follows an earlier decision to remove plastic straws from IHG hotels by the end of this year as the company turns away from single-use plastics. The company said it would eliminate the use of 50 million straws each year.
IHG, which indicated the switch to larger bottles will be finished across all properties in 2021, already is well along in the transition.
"We've already made great strides in this area, with almost a third of our estate already adopting the change and we're proud to lead our industry by making this a brand standard for every single IHG hotel," CEO Keith Barr said in a statement.
Roberts pointed to Currier's wide customer base as a mitigating factor on the impact of IHG's decision. "Currier is diversified into different markets. This isn't going to shut down machines or send people home."
For example, the company has diversified into the medical field in recent years to help broaden its customer base, she said.
IHG operates hotels under 17 brands, including Holiday Inn, Regent, InterContinental, Crown Plaza and Kimpton. More than 1,000 Holiday Inn Express locations already use full size bottles, the company said, along with some Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties.
The company's Six Senses brand now use refillable ceramic dispensers and the Kimpton brand currently is transitioning to larger bottles. And three newer brands, Voco, Even and Avid, have always used bulk-sized amenities, IHG indicated. Those three brands have a total of 15 hotels, with more in development.
"It's more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly — we know it's what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect," Barr said in his statement. "Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction."
Currier's work with the larger containers for the lodging industry includes brackets and mounting systems, Roberts said. The company both blow molds and injection molds at its facility.
"The fact that we're diversified, we're pretty strong in other markets, so any change in this market or any other markets is going to be addressed and it's not going to hurt us," she said.