Quarter of a million non-green bottles, sitting in the landfill

Saturday August 03, 2019 Written by Published in Environment
Countless plastic tubes of hair conditioner on a cleaner’s trolley, ready to be distributed around the resort rooms. 19080255 Countless plastic tubes of hair conditioner on a cleaner’s trolley, ready to be distributed around the resort rooms. 19080255

As many readers are aware, Te Ipukarea Society, with the support of the Tourism Industry Council and Cook Islands Tourism authority, has recently launched an eco certification scheme for tourism operators. 


To attain the “green tick” you need to be operating with a strong emphasis on limiting the impact of your operation on the environment. 

One of the major sources of plastic pollution from tourism is the packaging for toiletries.  Many of the hotels are still providing shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and more in small disposable plastic containers.  

There are more than 2200 rooms available for tourists in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. 

If only half of these are providing three small bottles of toiletries in this manner, and assuming a 70 per cent occupancy rate and the containers are replaced at least twice in an average stay of one week, that is approximately 250,000 mini plastic bottles, many half full of leftover products, ending up in our already overflowing landfills every year.

The good news is there are more environmentally-friendly alternatives that can help your business achieve the “green tick” by minimising this waste.  There are a number of local retailers selling shampoos and other liquid toiletries in dispensers which can be refilled from bulk supplies. 

Even better, there is at least one local entrepreneur now making shampoo, conditioner, and other toileties in solid form, which require no plastic wrapping at all. 

The other good news is that this “green” approach is likely to reduce your operating cost, as buying in bulk will be less expensive than providing these products in small plastic containers.

So, to any accommodators out there who are not yet signed up to Mana Tiaki. If you are still using small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in your rooms, now is a good time to rethink. 

You will not be alone in helping save the planet, but would be joining a host of overseas hoteliers who are going green.    

Inter Continental Hotel group has recently announced is removing all small plastic toiletries from 843,000 rooms in 5,600 hotels by 2021.  But here in the Cook Islands, we can do that by 2019!

If you would like any information on attaining Mana Tiaki certification, and where to obtain these more environmentally friendly alternatives, or if you are a supplier of these alternatives and would like us to help promote your products, please come and see us at Te Ipukarea Society next to Bamboo Jacks, or contact us on 21144 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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