California lawmakers have set their sights on complimentary toiletry bottles that have long been a hotel tradition. Of course, some hospitality companies have already started ditching the little plastic bottles for more sustainable options.
The proposed legislation, AB 1162, would ban bottles smaller than four ounces and urge hotels to switch to bulk dispensers instead. Set to take effect in 2023, the bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra of San Jose, aims to reduce the amount of plastic sent to landfills and therefore into the environment.
“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,” Kalra told a local news station. “AB 1162 will take meaningful action to curb single-use plastic consumption in the lodging industry and increase consumer awareness.”
AB 1162 would become part of the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, which also prohibits single-use plastic carryout bags at some stores and plastic straws in drinks at restaurants unless the customer asks for one. A local agency would inspect lodging properties to ensure compliance with the law one year before it takes effect, and penalties would range from a written warning for first time offenders to fines between $500 and $2,000.
Some companies are already moving away from the little bottles. For example, last year Marriott International replaced the little bottles with in-shower dispensers in around 450 select-service hotels in an effort to reduce waste. The company planned to install the new system at more than 1,500 hotels in North America, thus eliminating more than 35 million small plastic bottles from ending up in landfills.