Featured image for The War On Hotel Toiletries In Plastic Bottles Has Begun

The War On Hotel Toiletries In Plastic Bottles Has Begun

by Rudy Sanchez on 05/06/2019 | 2 Minute Read

For road-weary travelers, checking into a luxurious room with plenty of amenities can recharge the soul. There are items every hotel guest comes to expect: fluffy bathrobes, big TVs with cable, wireless internet, and tiny bottles of premium toiletries like shampoo, body lotion, and soap. A new bill in California, if passed and signed, would eliminate those bottles of toiletries from hotel rooms as the Golden State continues its war on single-use plastic.

AB1162, introduced by assembly member Ash Kalra who represents parts of eastern San Jose, is currently working its way through the legislature and would ban hotels and other lodging establishments from offering toiletries in plastic bottles less than 12oz while imposing fines upon innkeepers that violate the law.

If passed, hoteliers will have until January 1st, 2023 to replace the small bottles or face a daily fine of $500 after the first violation, not to exceed $2,000 annually, in addition to civil penalties equaling $500 for the first day and $2,000 for each subsequent transgression.

Some hotel chains like Marriott have already taken the initiative to eliminate single-use, non-refillable personal care bottles in favor of bulk dispensers. Marriott estimates that by replacing the traditional sized toiletries with bulk dispensers, they remove about 250 pounds of plastic—the equivalent of 23,000 plastic bottles—from a 140-room hotel annually.

Not everyone is a fan of the change, however, including the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), claiming it would financially harm small and medium-sized businesses.

The industry lobbying firm says that companies providing hotels with the little bottles of toiletries would face a significant impact, many of which purchase the product, re-package it, license brand names and distribute the bottles to hotels.

In an open letter addressed to assembly committee chair Laura Friedman, the PCPC claims the bill would encourage more plastic use saying, ”Tourists may simply buy and use single-use plastic personal care products if they are not provided.  In addition, they may have to purchase even larger containers and be forced to discard if they cannot bring them back on the plane due to size restrictions.”

While my mom will lament no longer being to pack these tiny toiletries to bring home should this bill pass, it’s probably for the best since according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, there are 5,596 hotels and 515,285 hotel rooms in California.