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California is often a leader within the US when it comes to environmental initiatives. So it should come as no surprise that California lawmakers are now targeting hotels for their excess waste. Specifically, the target is on hotels that provide little plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion known as single use toiletries.
What Does That Mean For Hotel Guests
In an attempt to stem plastic consumption and limit plastic trash, this week, the California State Assembly passed a bill to restrict these amenities. Don’t panic (or go into hoarding mode)—we would still receive free shampoo via bulk dispensers.
If enacted, “lodging establishments,” including hotels and vacation rentals, would be restricted from offering plastic bottles that hold 12 ounces of fluid or less. Fines would be levied on the properties if not followed.
Another question is whether or not we want our legislatures regulating and targeting industries. I’d rather see hotels step up to the sustainability plate on their own, as Marriott has already begun doing. Marriott has already announced plans to install bulk dispensers in 450 of its locations. Besides being a cost savings measure, the company estimates the change will cut its plastic consumption by 250 pounds per hotel, amounting to 113,000 pounds globally every year.
Many non-premium hotel brands already do this — offering dispenser-style body products in lieu of more costly individual bottles.
Fond farewell to the little bottles. For years, you’ve served those of us who never liked traveling with our own toiletries. I’m not looking forward to the bulk dispensers, though who can argue with programs that produce less waste. It’s likely this will be enacted elsewhere beyond just California in the coming months and years.