Waste Reduction

Hotels are working to keep waste out of America’s landfills by reducing single-use plastics and other materials, increasing both staff and guest recycling programs, using innovative kitchen management practices, and increasing composting programs – and we’re doing it while maintaining the same quality, cleanliness, and amenities Americans have come to expect. Across the country, America’s hotels – working with guests, employees, and their communities – are wasting less, reusing more, and planning for the future.

Virtually all hotels have implemented waste management measures in the past three years.

Hotels are working to reduce waste by investing in new, eco-friendly products and packaging. Our members have swapped out many plastic products like water bottles, cups, cutlery, straws, and toiletries with more reusable and sustainable options.

Many brands have pledged to reduce plastic waste by utilizing keyless mobile entry; providing guests with large format, wall-mounted bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel in their bathrooms; and placing water refilling stations in hotel lobbies. And when a single-use plastic product is used in our hotels, our recycling programs are optimized to ensure that product gets a second life.

Innovative programs like Hotel Kitchen, an online food waste training and toolkit, were designed to assist hotels in reducing food waste by preventing it from occurring in the first place, donating excess food that is still safe for people to eat, and diverting the rest away from landfills.

Composting bins in hotel lobbies and event spaces empower guests to fight food waste, and some of our members even provide compost bins in guest rooms. These programs decrease the amount of trash and food waste that would otherwise end up in landfills while also reducing our carbon footprint.

“The world wastes 40% of all food it produces, and wasted food accounts for 10% of global greenhouse emissions.  To tackle this challenge, we’re proud to be partnering with America’s hotels to help you live sustainably while away from home.  Our joint initiative – Hotel Kitchen – reduced food waste for hotel properties by 38% in just 12 weeks.  It’s this type of behavioral change that hotels are also using to get guests and employees to reduce waste in other areas, such as water and single-use plastics. And now, with Responsible Stay, we’re excited to be part of a broad sustainability effort that advances hotels on their journey to reduce their impact on our planet and strengthen our collective future.”

Nearly all hotels have implemented waste management measures including: diverting food waste from landfills, and donating leftover bathroom amenities.

Another common practice is the implementation of food waste strategies. Around six in ten hotels plan and implement waste reduction initiatives, as well as measure the amount of food waste generated. 

Key Findings 

  • Virtually all hotels (99.2%) have implemented waste management measures in the past three years.
  • More than nine in ten hotels (92.5%) take actions to divert food waste from the landfill.
  • 91.7% of all hotels donate leftover bathroom amenities such as soap bars, shampoo, and shower gel.
  • 82.0% of all hotels implemented food waste prevention strategies in the last year.
  • 62.9% of hotels have eliminated the use of plastic straws. 45.7% of hotels have eliminated the use of plastic stirrers.
  • Approximately one in two hotels have replaced mini plastic toiletry bottles with bulk dispensers or non-plastic alternatives.

Our Impact

In just 12 weeks, hotels participating in AHLA’s Hotel Kitchen program saw reductions of food waste of up to


Since 2017, Terranea Resort donated more than

21,072 pounds

of food,


rolls of toilet paper, and


bottles of partially used toiletries

Hilton’s digital key technology is now available at more than


of Hilton’s portfolio and has reduced plastic waste by

125 tons

The Walt Disney Company has reduced plastics by




guest rooms by replacing all disposable toiletries with bulk amenities and minimized plastic merchandise bags

Download the Responsible Stay water reduction one-pager here.