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The world’s largest hotel chain has said it will be scrapping single-use plastic bathroom toiletries in a bid to reduce waste.

Marriott International, which has 7,000 properties worldwide including brands such as Westin, Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton, expects the switch to more environmental, refillable pump bottles to be completed by December 2020.

Larger, pump bottles have already been rolled out in about 1,000 Marriott properties in North America. The company estimates that when fully implemented, the programme will prevent about 500 million single-use bottles annually from going to landfill. This equates to a reduction of around 1.7 million pounds of plastic.

Marriott International first introduced larger-size toiletries in 2018. A typical large, pump-topped bottle contains the same amount of product as 12 smaller, single-use bottles. The tiny bottles are not usually recycled and so eventually end up in landfill. Plastic takes more than 400 years to decompose and more than eight million tons of plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans each year.

“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year,” said Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International. “Which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us.” Last year the hotel chain stopped using plastic straws and stirrers.

Mr Sorenson continued: “Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels. Shifting to pump dispensers is a smart change.”

Marriott’s decision follows a similar move by InterContinental Hotels last month.