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California Bans Travel-Size Plastic Shampoo Bottles from Hotels

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The convenience of hotel-provided mini shampoo bottles will no longer be a thing, as California passes a ban on such single-use plastic bottles. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill earlier this week that will effectively ban hotels from providing these bottles to guests in an effort to reduce the number of plastic containers being thrown away. The bill will not apply to hospitals, nursing homes, residential retirement communities, prisons, jails, or homeless shelters. 

The bill will go into effect in 2023 for hotels with 50 or more rooms and 2024 for hotels with less than 50 rooms. Per the bill, hotels will face monetary fines for a violation. First violations will include a written warning along with a $500 fine for each day the lodging establishment does not comply. Second or subsequent violations would result in a $2,000 fine. 

As many cities are turning towards new ordinances aimed at reducing plastic waste including plastic straws, bags, and water bottles, it is no surprise this bill has passed in California. The state was at the forefront of banning free plastic bags in grocery stores, and this bill is just another pushback in the fight against the growing problem of plastic waste. 

Several of the world’s largest hotel chains have already announced similar measures in reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce. Marriott International has said it plans to stop using plastic bottles at its lodges around the world by December 2020. IHG, owner of popular hotel chains like Holiday Inn and Kimpton will eliminate small plastic bottles by 2021. Even Walt Disney Co. will be moving towards getting rid of plastic bottles at its resorts and cruise ships. 

“We have reached a tipping point for action and more needs to be done that transitions consumers and businesses towards more sustainable alternatives. Given our state’s large presence in tourism, this will be a model for the nation,” said Ash Kalra, the Democratic state assemblyman who wrote the bill.

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