The City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG) takes sustainability seriously. Last year, the group rolled out a R20 million solar panel project. In January, it committed to transition to 100% cage-free eggs throughout its operations by 2025. And on 16 July 2020, it announced plans to remove all single-use plastic from guest bedrooms across all five hotel brands – Fairview Hotel (Kenya), Courtyard Hotel, City Lodge Hotel, Town Lodge and Road Lodge.

In a single year 2 141 434 units of plastic will be prevented from going into South Africa’s depleting landfills.

Working together with its South African supplier, The Bespoke Amenities Company (TBAC), CLHG will replace all existing amenities with zero-waste alternatives that are kinder to our planet and its finite resources.

Guests will soon be able to wash with a Hair & Body Zero Bar, a 2-in-1 soap bar that is made without water. The result is a compact, lightweight product compared to traditionally bottled shampoo and body wash – which not only translates as water savings, but also a reduced carbon footprint from transportation. The bar contains avocado and argan oil for a nourishing cleanse, proving that less can be more.

Other eco-friendly amenities that will be found in each room include a shower cap made from corn starch, an unwrapped hand soap, and body cream in a recyclable aluminium tube and cap made from recycled plastic.

“The new bathroom amenities range leapfrogs over alternative solutions, such as dispensing systems, and reflects the latest thinking in sustainability.”

Guests will also be able to request the following from reception: shave kits (razors will have corn starch handles rather than plastic); dental kits (toothbrushes will have bamboo handles, and tooth powder tablets will replace toothpaste and its non-recyclable tubes); vanity kits (cotton bud stems will be made from paper); sanitary bags (using 100% post-consumer waste); shoe mitts (re-usable and washable); and sewing kits.

All plastic packaging has been stripped out, and products will instead be packaged in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cardboard packaging that is completely recyclable. Replacing plastic with paper, and using corn starch and bamboo, also means this new range is derived from renewable resources rather than non-renewable petroleum.

“This collaboration to launch a range of environmentally-friendly guest amenities means less plastic on bathroom counter tops and beaches.”

CLHG has calculate the collective impact that these swops will have throughout its properties – 8 070 bedrooms in 62 hotels in six countries – and estimates it will prevent the following from entering landfill each year:

  • PET bottles: 688 201 units
  • Flow wraps: 1 364 954 units
  • Plastic tubes: 67 829 units
  • Boxed accessories (non-FSC board): 53 142 units

In short, in a single year 2 141 434 units of plastic will be prevented from going into South Africa’s depleting landfills.

Guests can expect to enjoy these new products in the coming months, as existing stock is replaced with the new range, and are encouraged to take them home with them. A “Bar Saver” soap holder for the Zero Bar can be purchased at reception if needed. As an added bonus, air travel is made easier with these light and liquid-free toiletries.

The group is also adding hydration stations to its properties, providing guests with complimentary filtered, magnesium-enriched drinking water – without the plastic packaging.

“We are very excited to take this huge step in sustainability to benefit the planet and believe we are the first hotel group in the country to go this particular route.”

“We are very excited to take this huge step in sustainability to benefit the planet and believe we are the first hotel group in the country to go this particular route,” says Andrea Anderson, general manager: operations at CLHG. “The new bathroom amenities range leapfrogs over alternative solutions, such as dispensing systems, and reflects the latest thinking in sustainability. It also adds a bold, fun and fresh element to the guest’s in room experience.”

Bruce Turner, MD of TBAC, adds, “This collaboration to launch a range of environmentally-friendly guest amenities means less plastic on bathroom counter tops and beaches. Together, we have made it easy for guests to make a difference.”