Those little shampoo bottles offered in hotel bathrooms, used once or twice and then usually tossed in the trash, could soon be a thing of the past in California.
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban hotels from providing guests with small plastic bottles for soap, shampoo and conditioner. The proposed law, which would go into effect in 2023, would instead encourage hotels to provide the products in bulk dispensers to reduce plastic waste.
Assembly Member Ash Kalra of San Jose co-authored the bill, known as AB 1162, which would apply to all lodging establishments. Kalra said that small plastic bottles under 12 ounces represent a sizable amount of waste and that his bill would reduce the problem.
“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,” he said as part of an analysis on the bill. “AB 1162 will take meaningful action to curb single-use plastic consumption in the lodging industry and increase consumer awareness.”
The bill was introduced in February and is working its way through committees. Santa Cruz County passed a similar law that banned small toiletry bottles in hotels last year, KSBW reported.
The legislation comes amid a growing push to phase out single-use plastics like straws and bags. Critics say these items take decades or more to decompose and end up polluting landfills and bodies of water.
Even before this legislation, hotels have begun to make the shift toward bulk dispensers, which they say are less wasteful and cheaper.
Marriott International announced last April that it would replace the individual soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles with bulk dispensers in its showers. The program is expected to save an average of 250 pounds of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel — about 23,000 plastic bottles, Marriott told Lodging Magazine.
“This is a win-win from a sustainability perspective, operational perspective, and financial perspective,” Denise Naguib, vice president of sustainability for Marriott, told the magazine.