California could ban mini hotel toiletries

The state is considering ways to reduce plastic waste

Helen Coffey
Monday 15 April 2019 12:29 BST
Complimentary hotel toiletries bottles could be outlawed in California
Complimentary hotel toiletries bottles could be outlawed in California

Taking mini toiletries from a hotel to get your money’s worth could soon become a thing of the past, as California considers a state-wide ban.

A bill passed on Monday could bring an end to complimentary mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and moisturiser.

Members of the California State Assembly voted in favour of the Assembly Bill 1162 by six to three, as part of a move to reduce the use of plastics and plastic waste.

The bill would ban “lodging establishments”, including hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts and holiday apartments, from offering small plastic bottles holding 340ml or under of product in rooms or public spaces.

Establishments could offer “bulk dispensers” instead of individual toiletries.

“The amount of plastic produced is increasing exponentially, and we must consider all options to reduce this pollution from entering our waste streams,” said Assembly Member Ask Kalra.

“While it may not appear to be a problem on an individual level, small plastic bottles that are less than 12 ounces represent a sizeable amount of waste collectively that the state must address.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom must decide whether to sign the bill into law, allow the bill to pass without his signature or veto the motion.

If it becomes law, establishments would likely face hefty fines of up to $2,000 if found contravening the rules more than once.

The bill was inspired by a similar one passed by the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors. It will come into effect on 31 December 2020, banning “lodging establishments” from distributing single-use toiletries.

Hotel chain Marriott has already announced plans to swap mini bottle for bulk dispensers in 450 of its hotels.

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