Green Guidelines: Refillable Amenities

It's estimated that U.S. hotels throw away almost one million amenity bottles a year (2009 data). Switching to refillable amenities in guest bathroom dispensers offers an easy way to cut costs and reduce your environmental impact while offering a number of benefits:


  • Bulk liquids are less expensive and you pay only for what you use;

  • Guests aren't able to "harvest" amenities to take with them for home use;

  • Costs and wastes associated with Individual packaging are eliminated;

  • Housekeeping doesn’t have to replace amenity bottles or look for fallen caps, simply service dispensers once a week


Refillable amenities range from from economical to luxurious, and dispensers are available in many styles to enhance décor. Note, however, that it's important that dispensers have locking, tamper proof lids so that no one can introduce unintended substances to the dispenser. Some dispensers pair with disposable and recyclable cartridges, offering security and quality control along with the economic benefits listed above.


Savings from Refillable Amenities

A hotel will save $.16 per guest room per day in water, labor and product costs by replacing amenities in individual bottles or wrappers with two refillable amenity dispensers per guest bathroom: one each for the shower and sink areas.


For a typical 300-room hotel with 60% occupancy, that totals a savings of $10,512 per year.

If the cost of the dispensers, labor included, is $40 per bathroom, that represents a $12,000 investment — a cost recouped in just over a year based on the savings calculated above.


Resources on Refillable Amenities

EPA WasteWise site with info on waste and recycling for hotels