Vanderlei J. Pollack - Oct 18, 2010
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Small bottles and bags of cosmetics can be found in any better hotel. They have become standard equipment of hotel rooms. However, their negative impact on environment is less advertised as in upscale type of accommodation, customers’ wishes always go first.


Shampoos, shower gels, body lotions and other different kinds of cosmetics in small nice smelling packages usually welcome guests when they first arrive to their room in any better hotel. The nice smelling mini bottles and bags look so harmless. Nevertheless, they pollute the environment significantly as a lot of waste is left behind once they are used.

The managers in upscale hotels do not care for environment very much. The comfort of their guests is the priority. The refillable bottles are not for high class customers. Mini packaged cosmetics in original packages are simply more luxurious and therefore also demanded by the upper class guests. Maria Bueler, director of a five-star Zurich Hotel Alden Splügenschloss, says that bigger bottles can be taken into consideration in two or three-star hotels but not in high quality types of accommodation. Other directors of  four or five-star hotels agree with her. „ We cannot simply stop offering the mini bottles, “ Peter Kämpfer, the director of Park Hotels Weggis, backs Mrs. Bueler’s opinion.

Many hotels also have bad experience with digger bottles. Karin Zuber from the Four-Star Superior Hotel Schweizerhof Lenzerheide in Graubünden explains that after the reconstruction, the hotel management decided to put digger bottles with cosmetics in the rooms. However, many guests simply took the bottle home. Since such a bottle of cosmetics costs around 10 euros, it was rather an expensive decision. Mounted dispensers could be a good solution. Nevertheless, the original bottles are an effective advertising tool and in five-star hotels, advertising and image are unfortunately still more important than protecting the environment.

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