California Governor Gavin Newson just signed a bill that bans hotels from putting tiny plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap in hotel rooms. The state assembly voted back in April to replace these travel-size bottles with dispensers or bottles larger than 12 ounces. This may come as a disappointment to travelers who love collecting these complementary little toiletries, but it will make a big difference in reducing the plastic waste hotels produce.
The law will take effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms, and 2024 for hotels with less than 50 rooms. The fine for a first offense could be as much as $500, and as much as $2,000 for subsequent violations, according to the Associated Press.
Major hotel chains are already starting to make the switch to cut down on plastic waste, and California’s just making it mandatory. Marriott International, owner of Hilton, Marriott, and more, will stop using small plastic bottles by December 2020. IHG, which owns Holiday Inn and Kimpton, promises to eliminate 200 million small bottles by 2021. Even Disney resorts and cruise ships are getting rid of the mini toiletries.
But for any hotel in California, there will be no tiny bottles allowed within 3-4 years. This may seem like a small switch, but millions of bottles are made just for hotel rooms every year — this law could make a big difference in the sustainability movement.
Hotels will still offer shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion to guests, but will provide these products in larger dispensers — and sorry, you can’t take them home as a souvenir.