It’s one thing when a hotel brand decides to stop offering single-use hotel toiletries. Is it to save money? Is it for the “feel good” publicity? Is it truly to save the environment? You just never know – what they say to the public and what they say behind closed doors, as much as I’d like to hope they’re the same, may or may not be.
But it’s another thing when a whole state considers banning those small plastic bottles.
On the heels of California voting to ban small plastic hotel shampoo, conditioner, gel and lotion bottles by the year 2023 (note: hotels there would still be allowed to provide the mini bottles upon request by guests), lawmakers in the state of New York are considering a similar ban that would prohibit hotels from offering single-use plastic toiletry bottles in guest rooms. Instead, they could use wall-mounted dispensers, larger, multi-use bottles or materials other than plastic to package single-use bottles.
State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island) announced the proposal last week, explaining that hotels in New York City alone, with more than 630 hotel properties that have a combined 115,530 rooms, annually dispose of roughly 27.4 million plastic toiletry bottles. Adding the plastic toiletry count from the hotels in the rest of New York State would make those numbers even larger.
“Little everyday actions, like eliminating small plastic bottles, will have a positive impact on our environment,” Kaminsky said in a statement announcing the bill. “By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our environment, and mitigating plastic waste and waterway pollution.”
The Hotel Association of New York City and the state Hospitality and Tourism Association both back Kaminsky’s bill, which is expected to be considered by lawmakers when they reconvene in Albany in January.
“This legislation will help ensure that the industry has a smooth transition to bulk use or non-plastic products by giving hotels time to exhaust their current stock of products, and make decisions that are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing for guests,” said Mark Dorr, president of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association.
If the proposal passes, it would require larger hotels with 50 rooms or more to phase out single-use toiletries by Jan. 1, 2023. Smaller hotels would have until Jan. 1, 2024 to stop using the small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and hand soap. A hotel caught violating the ban would first receive a written warning and 30 days to comply. A second violation would result in a $250 fine and the amount would increase to $500 for every citation after that.
Little plastic bottles, your days are numbered. But if there’s a hotel’s shampoo, etc. that you really like, there will still be a way to steal it ;-).
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary