Guide to sustainability in the hospitality industry

See how antimicrobial solutions can enhance hospitality products and materials.

Building sustainability into the hospitality

In today's era, where sustainability initiatives are gaining attention, the hospitality sector actively embraces measures to align with the rising demand for eco-friendly travel and accommodation options. Hotels and resorts prioritizing sustainable practices can distinguish themselves from competitors and attract eco-conscious travelers while unlocking opportunities for innovation and uniqueness.

Charting a greener path for hotel toiletries

Single-use plastic toiletries have been a staple of the hotel experience, providing guests with convenience and a sense of luxury. However, the excessive waste generated by these small bottles - often used only once - contributes significantly to plastic pollution.

In response to the need for more sustainable hospitality industry practices, hotels and resorts are increasingly adopting reusable dispensers as an alternative to single-use plastic toiletries. These dispensers are mounted on walls, providing guests with various bath and body products. The hospitality industry can effectively reduce its plastic footprint by adopting toiletry dispensers.

However, despite offering a solution to waste reduction, reusable dispensers come with their own set of challenges. One notable issue hotels face is mold growth on the dispenser over time. The moist and humid environment commonly found in bathrooms provides nutrients for bacteria and fungi to grow, which can accelerate the development of unsightly stains and odors, on toiletry dispensers, leading to premature disposal.

Adding antimicrobial technology to the dispenser packaging keeps the surface cleaner and more durable, extends usability, encourages reuse, and saves hotel costs while providing guests with added peace of mind.

Extend the usable life of hotel uniforms

Regardless of a hotel's size, style, or stars, the condition of hotel staff uniforms plays a vital role in shaping guest perceptions. It serves as a visual representation of the hotel’s standards, professionalism, and dedication to service. Uniforms treated with antimicrobial or odor-control properties actively resist bacterial growth and unpleasant odors. This translates to enhanced visible cleanliness standards, fostering positive guest perceptions and improving overall staff comfort.

In addition, uniforms with antimicrobial properties can help streamline the hotel’s laundry process by reducing laundering requirements and the need for aggressive cleaning agents, which can negatively impact the environment.

Antimicrobial bedding for longer-lasting freshness

It’s no secret that our bodies release moisture during sleep, which can create an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria. The combination of moisture and warmth in the bed provides an ideal breeding ground for these microbes, which can lead to unpleasant smells and odors, and a cycle of contamination. Even with the best efforts of housekeeping, achieving a thorough cleaning regimen in the limited time between room turnover can be complex. Additionally, bedding items, particularly mattresses and pillows, often have hard-to-reach crevices that can harbor bacteria even after surface cleaning.

Interest in antimicrobial bedding has soared in recent years due to the need to reduce linen waste, energy consumption, and the cost of frequent replacements caused by stain and odor-causing bacteria. In addition to inhibiting bacterial growth on sheets, pillowcases, blankets, mattresses, and pillows, built-in antimicrobials are a proactive solution to keep these products in use for longer, giving guests peace of mind who stay longer and skip daily housekeeping.

Antimicrobial bedding also helps hotels reduce water and energy usage by reducing the need for laundering.

Discover how Manchester Mills redefines hospitality textiles with antimicrobial product protection

Embracing antimicrobial towels for added sustainability

Hotels worldwide adopt the practice of encouraging guests to reuse bath towels to reduce their water consumption. Towels, however, can trap and carry microbes as they collect dead skin cells, oils, and moisture with each use. This can lead to staining, quality fading, and odor problems, which result in costly replacements and textile waste.

Researchers from the University of Arizona found that coliform bacteria contaminated nearly 90% of bath towels, and E. coli. was carried by 14%. Since towels are often stored in bathrooms, they are susceptible to bacteria from toilet plume spray.

The hotel industry should consider adopting towels with antimicrobial and odor-control properties to address these concerns, helping to reduce laundering requirements and, ultimately, water and energy consumption.

Reduced need for harsh cleaning chemicals

The pursuit of pristine hospitality environments has given rise to an arsenal of industrial-strength cleaning agents. The routine flushing of mops, buckets, and cleaning equipment directly releases harsh cleaning chemicals into water supplies, contributing to environmental pollution.

In addition, the cumulative effects of frequent cleaning with harsh chemicals manifest in the form of worn-out fabrics, tarnished metals, and faded aesthetics, all of which can impair the perception of the high-quality hotels strive to maintain.

Hotel carpets are a vivid example of these repercussions. According to a study by Harris Poll on behalf of Whittaker, over 80% of Americans believe that a carpet with visible stains or food residue would leave a negative impression on a hotel. More than half of the respondents would assume that the property needs to be cleaned and would look for another facility instead.

Hotel bathrooms are another area that requires regular cleaning. Tiles, grout, faucets, and even shower curtains are prone to bacteria build-up. The crevices surrounding these surfaces pose cleaning challenges and can foster a damp environment conducive to microbial growth. Consequently, this can lead to staining, odors, and premature product degradation.

Incorporating antimicrobial technologies into hotel products and surfaces offers a longer-lasting solution to cleanliness. Additionally, it reduces the need for harsh cleaning chemicals and actively maintains the cleanliness and freshness of items for longer, while preserving their aesthetics.

What antimicrobial and odor-control technologies are used for sustainable hospitality textiles and products?

Microban International offers a range of innovative technologies for hospitality products. Along with their well-established, metal-based formulations, we’ve also developed greener formulations to help manufacturers meet their sustainability goals.

Mbns23 Microban Technology Shield MICROGUARD FT

MicroGuard™ - a new line of non-metal antimicrobial chemistries for PVC, PU, and EVA foam applications that protect treated products against the deleterious effects of fungal growth.

Mbns23 Microban Technology Shields Lapis Shield FT

LapisShield™ - a heavy-metal-free antimicrobial technology that offers improved quality and stability for water-based coatings, making them ideal for transparent glass or plastic applications.

Contact us for more information.

As the industry leader in antimicrobial and odor-control solutions, Microban technologies can be seamlessly integrated into a range of hospitality products and applications without disrupting the desired look, feel, or functionality. Contact a member of the Microban team today to learn more.