In 2019, both California and New York began their respective plans of banning single-use toiletries in hotels. California’s ban on single-use toiletries will begin in 2023. That was New York’s original goal as well, but they had a little more red tape to go through, and they just decided on the hard date for their own ban.
Of course, offering shampoo and liquid soap in bulk versus individually wrapped containers would be significantly cheaper for hotels that were giving these items away for free. Eliminating all those tiny plastic bottles is also “greener” and a boon to the environment. So it’s not much of a surprise that the lawmakers of a third state, Hawaii, have now decided they too will try to put a moratorium on single-use toiletries in hotels.
“As a notable tourism destination here in Hawaii, we also really have an opportunity to kind of put our money where our mouth is when we talk about how important the environment is and how Hawaii wants to engage and more sustainable tourism,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen (D) chair of the House Energy & Environmental Protection committee, and one of the introducers of the bill.
Like California and New York, the moratorium would be in two phases. The bill would prohibit hotels with 50 or more beds from handing out personal care products in small plastic bottles in 2024. And then, in 2025, the same would go for lodgings that have fewer than 50 beds.
The larger hotel chains, of course, are already ahead of the curve. Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Hilton and Accor have been phasing out single-use toiletries from all of their hotel brands for the past few years.
Hawaii has laws in place that require businesses to charge customers a minimum of 15 cents per reusable, compostable plastic or recyclable paper bag they provide during purchases. On top of that, Honolulu has an ordinance that prohibits food vendors from providing disposable plastic bags, forks, knives, spoons, straws, stir sticks, picks or sushi grass. And lawmakers are also considering a statewide bill that would ban single-use plastic bottles in the state over the next couple of years.
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If I ever check into a hotel and see bulk dispensers for soap/shampoo etc., the first thing I do will be to go to CVS/Walgreens etc. and buy my own stuff. No way am I trusting people to not put suprises in those bulk dispensers.