Amenity Dispensers: A GREEN Advantage in the Lodging Industry

Isn’t it incredible to know that over 50,000 tiny bottles and more than 20,000 slightly used bars of soap end up in landfills each year, and that’s just from one 100-room hotel? Looking at the bigger picture, amenity waste is truly a daunting problem.

As part of the larger push for sustainability, the hotel industry will soon do away with single-use tiny plastic bathroom amenities. The switch to top-quality dispensers results in a 90%-range waste reduction. Get ready to find out why as Green Suites Hotel Solutions takes you into the world of hotel dispensers and amenity waste, and be sure to use us for all your hotel amenities and dispensers.

To understand where the world of hotel amenities is going, let’s have a look back on how people view dispensers and why there’s a need to improve the guest perception of this touch point in the sphere of hospitality. Like any part of the guest journey, it’s important to consider how guests’ past interaction with dispensers have influenced the overall hotel perception.

The Old Guard Giving Dispensers a Bad Name


Sadly, the old, common tags people attach to amenity dispensers include: ugly, bulky, low-quality, leaking, and messy – all making for a less desirable guest experience. They lent a “cheap” image to a hotel, and guests took notice. It’s no wonder, with dispensers that looked like your everyday gas station soap dispenser. Other issues that hotel operators have to contend with when they use dispensers include the following:

  • Majority of guests have become accustomed to small bottles in the shower and switching to dispenser system represents change that may not be well received or understood
  • There’s a quality “image” or packaging factor at play, since most dispensers that people have seen so far have a low-quality look
  • Guests recognize brand names – especially those they trust, and without a label on the dispensers, they may question the supply source which raises unnecessary suspicions
  • The overall “new interaction” with amenity dispensers can potentially wear away guests’ expectations of a fine guest experience

That said, Green Suites Hotel Solutions has efficiently addressed these push backs and, for the last 27 years, has been supplying dispensers with a special, high-quality look that makes hotel guests feel the amenities were curated, hand-picked, and well-thought out. Green Suites offers alternatives that absolutely add value to guest experience.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

Admittedly, the use of dispensers is a fairly recent evolution in the hospitality industry, and it’s been growing rapidly in popularity. The guest perception has softened towards these bathroom fixtures, as modern and luxurious-looking products are emerging. Hotel dispensers have enjoyed an easy welcome in Asia and Europe, but not so much in North America. The widely preferred amenity dispersion is still individualized tiny bottles – especially at the luxury tier.

But not to be left behind, top-notch hotel dispensers have competed well enough to get the attention of even luxury accommodations –and North American guests are starting to take notice. 

LAW GIVES A GREENLIGHT: California’s Tiny Plastic Bottle Ban

Much to the delight of eco-driven enterprises, on October 9, 2019, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed into law a bill where California bans hotels from using tiny plastic bottles. Officially called “AB-1162 Lodging establishments: personal care products: small plastic bottles,” this not only covers hotels but shared-home bathrooms as well. By January 1, 2023 this law will go into effect where hotels larger than 50 rooms will be banned from using and offering small plastic bottles for lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel or any other single-use applications. By January 1, 2024, it will be illegal to use plastic bottles in smaller establishments throughout the state.

Moreover, according to the bill, if a hotel doesn’t comply, its owners/operators will be subjected to fines. With first violation comes a written warning with a $500 fine for each day the establishment is in violation. Any subsequent violations would then result in a $2,000 fine.

Always knowing this day would come, companies like Green Suites are ready to lead the way. Award-winning Green Suites Hotel Solutions has been steadily providing affordable, well-designed, and eco-polite dispensers to more than 4000 hotels in all 50 states and 45 countries — stopping plastic waste from ending up in the ocean and landfills. Our customer-friendly program has also helped hotels save up to $100M in housekeeping and waste costs.

Various Industries Step Up In Support of Green Hotels

Marriott International, the Bethesda-based hotel titan running thousands of hotels worldwide, took a huge leap in support of the zero-waste campaign. In late August 2019, the hotel chain announced they were phasing out single-use toiletry bottles from all its property by December 2020. Some of Marriott’s hotels never had them to begin with. Hilton is following suit after already having banned plastic straws from their properties.

California’s move is their answer to the worldwide protest against single-use plastics across a vast range of consumer-facing industries, whether plastic straws in restaurants or plastic bottles in hotel room showers. In their effort to contribute to the movement, the travel industry also responded. In addition to carbon reduction initiatives, eco-skies programs and biofuel flights, both airlines and hospitality are now pushing zero-plastic flights and zero-plastic hotel experiences as a way of going green. Operators are beginning to realize these green initiatives are even attracting more customers.

While California bans travel-size plastic shampoo bottles from hotels — and with little impact on giant hotel operators — the change may deal a heavier blow on home-rental and boutique operations that have lesser flexibility and margin compared to the Hiltons and Marriotts of the world. These small to medium properties, which mostly only have a dozen or so rooms, are hard-pressed to find alternative solutions to the widely-used plastic bottles they’ve always relied upon. 

Fortunately, California hoteliers have plenty of time to get their houses in order as the ban takes effect in three years for large properties and in four years for smaller properties. Assembly Member, Ash Kalra of San Jose, CA, who co-authored the bill, said that small plastic bottles (lesser than 12 oz.) cause an enormous amount of waste and he believes this bill will help reduce the problem.

A SOLUTION WHOSE TIME HAS COME

With the zero-plastic future looming ahead, bulk amenity dispensers for hotels are the best solution to reducing plastic and amenity waste in terms of soaps, shampoos, and lotions. Here’s where Green Suites Hotel Solutions comes to the rescue with our widely-trusted and well-received, eco-friendly FREE Dispenser Program. Get a headstart now in saving on costs and saving the planet.

There are three easy steps to get started on this program:

#1. Pick a Dispenser – The faceplates or labels are customizable to match your color or theme and serve a double purpose as wall décor. Dispensers come with: locks or keys, subtle viewing windows, single,duo, or trio options for bath or vanity, and 2-6 weeks of products. No screws or drills needed for installation.

#2. Pick a Liquid – We use only guaranteed superior-quality soaps, shampoos, body washes, and other hotel amenities that are: made in the USA, paraben free, biodegradable, and have no synthetic fragrances.

#3. Pick a price that suits your property size and/or occupancy – Starting from 19¢ per occupied room, pricing also depends on: type of dispenser or amenity brand, number of dispensers or amenity liquids, and length of agreement. To top it off, this program (also named EcoCents) is the only NO CAPITAL COST dispenser program in the lodging industry.

Advantages to Refillable Dispensers and Hotel Amenities

Having talked to a number of General Managers for many years, Green Suites can strongly vouch that dispensers are highly advantageous for the properties mainly because it translates to lower cost and is better for the environment. It’s an efficient move to going green as dispenser systems help reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.

Let’s outline the reasons why it’s smarter to switch to dispensers:

  • They last longer, which helps reduce plastic
  • They’re more efficient than small bottles as cartridges are set up to dispense .8 mL of liquid per press
  • Re-fillable cartridges are used many times before being disposed for recycling
  • The modern designs make the device easy to clean for housekeeping staff
  • Installation is easy and low cost
  • They’re a superior option to pump bottles as they can’t be stolen 
  • They come sealed and have locks and can’t be tampered with
  • They’re more sanitary as guests can use an arm or back of the hand to push the panel, whereas pump bottles require pumping down with the palm

Conversely, the drawback to using wall dispensers is that it breaks the illusion of exclusivity and reminds guests they are in a shared space. When in the shower, guests no longer see the dispenser as a gift or souvenir item, but as a device serving others who have occupied or will occupy the room. But, for the savvy hotelier, this opens up a perfect opportunity to offer to sell retail sizes of the liquid brands used in the property. An excellent revenue generator!

What are the crucial and long-term benefits from using Green Suites’ bulk amenity dispensers on your property?

  1. Kinder to the planet — Can provide a massive 90% reduction in waste — both in tiny plastic bottles and half used bath soaps
  2. Plastic ban compliant — We’ve enthusiastically participated in protecting the environment for the past 27 years, long before the bill was passed
  3. Adds value to hotel guest experience — Green Suites have turned dispensers into fine works of art, giving hotels a selection of modern, stylish devices with customizable faceplates

Great for the bottom line — The EcoCents dispenser program has helped hotel customers save annually from 25% up to 75% on housekeeping labor, amenity expenses, and waste costs.

All the Way GREEN!

With the push for sustainable hospitality practices only getting stronger, plus with the much-desired gain of saving on costs, Green Suites Hotel Solutions is a name you can trust when you seek an affordable, sturdy, easy-to-install, and guest-friendly wall dispenser with modern, elegant designs. Twenty-seven years of award-winning service backs us up.

Going green gives you a competitive edge with today’s eco-conscious and mindful consumers. Surely, being eco-friendly is great marketing and a smart move for any enterprise. But, beyond that, Green Suites Hotel Solutions is here to ensure that our children’s children will have the chance to enjoy the same luxuries we currently have access to, including a green, healthy planet.

While we help out with your budgeting and inventory, TOGETHER let’s be greener!