Marriott Hotels Cuts Back on Free Newspapers to Reduce Waste

Marriott Hotels Cuts Back on Free Newspapers to Reduce Waste

By not choosing to receive (and subsequently not reading) the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, or the local paper the next time you stay at a Marriott hotel, you are helping to save thousands of tons of paper waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

The hotel giant announced today that as of June 1 it would stop automatically giving all guests free newspapers, instead asking them to choose whether they receive a paper when they check in, or for reward program members to set their preferences in their account profiles.

Marriott said that demand for papers has dropped about 25 percent in recent months, and that as a way of reducing their waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, newspaper delivery will be optional for all guests.

"We want to give guests the choice of whether they want a newspaper or not," Marriott chairman and CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr., said in a statement.  "I visit more than 250 hotels a year, and more often than not, I'm stepping over unclaimed newspapers as I walk down the hallway."

Although hotel guests will still have the option to choose between USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, or the newspaper local to the hotel, the results of the shift are significant: Marriott expects to save 50,000 papers a day -- as much as 18 million papers every year -- and save over 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Individual hotels will also save money as a result of the shift, although the average amount of savings were not yet made available, and would instead vary based on usage at each hotel.

"We were seeing a lot of unused papers and thought of the waste," Marriott spokeswoman Stephanie Hampton told Reuters. "We also saw a shift in customer demand and expectations -- 25 percent of them didn't read the hard copy any more, according to our preliminary studies."

Hotel photo CC-licensed by Flickr user jillclardy.