If passed, a new bill will eliminate small plastic bottles from hotel rooms.
The latest targets in California’s war on plastics are the small shampoo, conditioner and bath soap bottles in hotel bathrooms, which are often thrown away still partially full. This has prompted state lawmakers to propose a law that would ban hotels from supplying the toiletry bottles to help reduce waste and instead install bulk dispensers in bathrooms for the bath accessories. The bill, known as AB 1162, would go into effect in 2023 and is currently being discussed in committees.
Co-authored by assembly member Ash Kalra of San Jose, the bill would apply to all hotels and other types of lodging. Kalra said that small plastic bottles under 12 ounces represent a sizable amount of waste and that his bill would help reduce the problem.
According to CNN, Kalra stated, “By not offering small bottles of personal care products, hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments can promote a more sustainable business and potentially reduce operating costs. AB 1162 will take meaningful action to curb single-use plastic consumption in the lodging industry and increase consumer awareness.”
Some hotels are already switching to the bulk dispensers to reduce waste as well as costs. Santa Cruz County passed a similar law that banned small toiletry bottles in hotels last year. Last April, Marriott International announced the chain was making the move to dispensers in its showers rather than providing the bottles. According to the company in a statement to Lodging Magazine, the shift will prevent about 250 pounds of plastic a year, or about 23,000 bottles, from being dumped into landfill for a 140-room hotel.
According to a study led by University of California, Santa Barbara industrial ecologist Roland Geyer, 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, used just once and then discarded. California has been at the forefront of bans on single-use plastics and became the first state to ban plastic bags in 2014.