When staying in a hotel, we are often greeted with cute amenities like the small shampoo and conditioners, but if California state lawmakers have their way, those tiny plastic bottles will soon be a thing of the past.
In reality, those tiny plastic bottles get used once or twice, then immediately thrown in the garbage. What state lawmakers have proposed in California, though, is a ban on hotels providing guests with plastic shampoo, soap, and conditioner bottles. If passed, the law would likely go into effect in 2023 and would encourage hotels to look for other means, such as buying bulk dispensers. The overall goal would be to help minimize plastic waste.
The AB1162 bill was introduced in February and is continuing to work through committees. Plastic, especially single-use plastic, can take decades if not more, to decompose, but it does not benefit the environment surrounding it. Assembly member Ash Kalra of San Jose told Eric Levenson of CNN that "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," according to Levenson's recent article.
Hotels have already been taking small steps to become greener, like Marriott International who announced back in April 2018 that it was switching to bulk dispensers. As part of a sustainability initiative, that would save about 250 pounds of plastic per year.
The bill is not the first initiative that California has taken to reduce plastic use throughout the state, either. In 2014, it became the first state to ban stores from handing out plastic bags for free. Taking the lead on creating a greener environment, California is taking strides to reduce plastic, and only time will tell if other states will follow suit.