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California Bans Hotels From Providing Small Shampoo Bottles

By Michelle Baran

Oct 16, 2019

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By 2023, California hotels will have to offer shampoo and conditioner in larger dispensers.

Photo by AlexandrBognat/Shutterstock

By 2023, California hotels will have to offer shampoo and conditioner in larger dispensers.

Starting in 2023, large properties will have to comply, and smaller properties will have an additional year to do so.

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If you’re a hotel toiletry hoarder, be warned. The end is nigh for those little plastic bottles filled with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion at hotels in California. In an effort to reduce waste, Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed a bill into law that will prohibit hotels from carrying the small containers of personal hygiene products.

Starting January 1, 2023, hotel properties with more than 50 rooms will be prohibited from providing small plastic bottles containing personal care products to guests. By January 1, 2024, properties with 50 rooms or fewer will have to follow suit.

Local authorities will be able to inspect hotels to make sure they are complying, and hotels that don’t comply can be fined up to $2,000 per year.

The law defines a small plastic bottle as a plastic container that is less than six ounces in volume and that is not reusable. Instead, hotels will be encouraged to install bulk dispensers to offer guests liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

Why I’m Obsessed With This Reusable Toiletry Bottle

The passage of the law comes amid a sea change taking place in the hotel industry regarding plastic waste and single-use plastics. In July, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) announced that all of the 843,000 guest rooms in its portfolio (which includes brands such as Kimpton) will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities. The following month, Marriott International announced that by the end of next year it will replace all single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel in its guest room showers with larger, pump-topped dispenser bottles.

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Marriott said that when its new policy is fully implemented, 500 million of those small bottles will no longer be heading to landfills each year—the equivalent of about 1.7 million pounds of plastic. The move will reduce Marriott’s plastic usage by a third.

>> Next: The Last Straw: How the Travel Industry Is Phasing Out Plastic

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