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California Bans Tiny Bottles

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Your tiny shampoo bottle hoarding days are over.

I will admit there was a time when I had a slight hoarding problem when it came to those tiny  hotel bathroom shampoos and conditioners. I would collect the leftover tiny bottles and shove them in my suitcase when no one was looking. At one point, my bathroom drawers at home were all filled with the small hotel shampoos and conditioners. One day my husband had enough, calling me a hotel shampoo bottle hoarder. When I was at my most vulnerable, on bedrest in the hospital pregnant with triplets, he disposed of all of them.

It looks like my tiny bottle hoarding days are over. Recently, California announced it is helping reduce plastic in landfills and oceans by enacting a law Assembly Bill 1162 to ban hotels from passing out tiny personal care bottles to guests. The bill passed 42 to 23 and will take effect January 2023. New York will soon follow suit with their own ban on tiny plastic shampoos.

In a few years, instead of finding our tiny little bottles of toiletries waiting for us by the bathroom sink in our hotel room, we will find bulk dispensers housing personal care products.

Hotels will face a $500 fine for the first noncompliance of this law, and a $2,000 fine for subsequent violations. Before Marriot International and IHG hotel chains have already announced that they will get rid of single use bottles.

Why do we care

Marriot’s new initiative to ban small bottles in its hotel room will prevent 500 million containers from entering landfills annually. And this is only one hotel chain out of many. New York’s ban of tiny plastic hotel bottles is estimated to prevent 27 million plastic bottles of waste from more than 650 New York City hotels.

 

Because there is always hater, one MIT professor says that this ban on plastic is not enough. MIT professor Yossi Sheffi wrote in a piece for MarketWatch, the tiny toiletry ban seems “more like a PR exercise than a real attempt to move the needle.” Many people want a holistic approach to sustainability would be reducing waste and energy in all areas of the hotel’s operation, not just the plastic shampoo bottles.

While this new ban against tiny shampoo bottles in hotel rooms may not be earth shattering to some, it is just one more step toward eradicating our plastic problem.

As the mother of four children, including a set of triplets, it is important to me that my family all honor the earth, giving back and preserving the health of our oceans by making small changes in everyday life. Since beginning Ocean Junkies, my entire family has a new conscious awareness of using plastic straws and utensils in restaurants and how it’s related to the trash we see on the beach. It is my hope that through Ocean Junkies and other wonderful activist websites, we can raise awareness about plastic pollution and increase sustainable living by re-using what we have already created and creating from biodegradable and compostable materials.

Megan

Founder, Ocean Junkies