Hotels across California will be required to stop providing guests with small single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap under a new law set to take effect in 2023.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that he signed into law new legislation that bans any hotel with more than 50 rooms to stop providing plastic toiletry products by 2023, reported the Associated Press (AP). Hotels with less than 50 rooms will be required to eliminate the practice by the following year. Violators will be fined $500 for the first violation and $2,000 for subsequent offenses.
The move follows after some of the largest hotel providers in the world have made initiatives to eliminate single-use plastics. In 2018, Hilton hotels removed plastic straws from 650 of its properties and plastic water bottles from its conference rooms. Last July, the Walt Disney Company announced it would be transitioning to refillable in-room amenities in hotels and on cruise ships, leading to an 80 percent reduction in plastic waste in guest rooms. Shortly after, Marriott International announced it would similarly be replacing single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel with pump-topped bottles, with the majority of hotels to have been fully switched over by the end of this year.
“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, in a statement. “Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels.”
Globally, Marriott International says its initiative will prevent 1.7 million pounds of plastic from entering landfills every year.
Around 300 million tons of plastic is produced around the world every year, with more than 8 million tons of it entering the oceans, according to the hospitality analysis website EHL. Nearly every country in the world has signed international agreements to tackle plastic waste and some have made enormous strides. In Norway, 97 percent of plastic bottles are now recycled and Australia cut its plastic bag use by 80 percent in just three months. Though the US does not have any country-wide restrictions on single-use plastics, many other states have stepped up their plastic elimination game. New York State officially banned single-use plastic bags earlier this year, joining the States of Hawaii and California and a handful of cities and counties across the nation.
The Personal Care Products Council opposed the ban, saying it would hurt personal care product manufacturers, noted the AP. IFLScience contacted the council but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
[H/T: Associated Press]