The Problem with “Free” Tiny Hotel Shampoo

Do you get excited when you see the tiny “free” bottles of hotel shampoo or the tiny jams in a restaurant? Thinking awesome I’ll take some extras to use at home? Or I’ll put them in my case every day of my stay and just use the minimum while I am here? They may seem “free” and yes they don’t cost you any money in that you don’t directly give money to get them, but they are charged to you in the price of the room or the breakfast, not to mention the environmental cost.

Keep the Tiny Hotel Shampoo?

I used to think, well they have already made the bottles so if I take them and use them what difference does it make? True, however, if you take them or use them (or not) then the hotel/cafe/restaurant etc will buy more and the manufacturer will make more and so the cycle keeps going around. Imagine the amount of single-use plastic used each year in the tiny bottles that hotels have in the bathroom….

hotel tiny bottles of shampoo

Leave the Tiny Bottles?

Yes, much as it may pain you to leave something that you get for “free” if you don’t take it, then the hotel/cafe/restaurant has more left at the end of the day and therefore takes longer to reorder and the manufacturer potentially doesn’t make as many because there aren’t as many orders coming in. You can also comment to the hotel that the tiny hotel shampoo is not good for the environment and suggest that they install full sized bottles attached to the wall or only have them available on request from guests.

What if Everyone Left their Tiny Bottles?

Now we are talking! If no one used the tiny jams, the tiny shampoos, the tiny butter etc then the hotel/cafe/restaurant would have them left in the room, or at the table. They wouldn’t order more as they aren’t being used, and eventually, you’d hope that they’d get the message that they aren’t needed. The manufacturer wouldn’t make more because no one was ordering them and would potentially look at doing something less harmful to the environment…. we hope!

This theory is the same for any plastic bottles of stuff being given away, whether it is the free drink samples on the street or free ketchup sachets with chips… In fact years ago when I was much younger I used to keep a bottle of tomato ketchup in the glovebox of my car for those late night chips runs!!

I will give a shout out to Le Pain Quotidien, a cafe chain in London, I met a friend there for coffee the other day where they were serving breakfast jam in full-sized jars delivered to the table with the toast! See it can be done….

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