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California May Ban The Free Soap And Shampoo You Get From Hotels

By Victoria M. Walker

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Those free mini-bottles of lotion you casually slip into your bag before checking out of your hotel? You may have to say goodbye to them if you’re at a California hotel.

California is considering a statewide ban on the sample-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion visitors receive at hotels in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly, according to a report from KPIX 5. Santa Cruz County already has a ban on the single-use plastic bottles.

“In California alone hotels use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bottles every year,” said Assembly Member Ash Kalra, who is co-authoring a bill with Mark Stone (D) that would ban the bottles at thousands of hotels in the state.

“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,” Kalra (D) said in the bill analysis. “AB 1162 will take meaningful action to curb single-use plastic consumption in the lodging industry and increase consumer awareness,” he continued.

It’s not just hotels, either. Motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals would all be required to comply. The bill would authorize a state or local agency to inspect hotels for compliance. Those not in compliance could be fined up to $2,000.

The bill, which advanced in a 6-3 vote, would go into effect in 2023 if signed into law.

Marriott said last year that the chain would aim to be more sustainable by replacing small plastic soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles with in-shower dispensers. The hotel said that it expected to save an average of 250 lbs. of plastic per year — approximately 23,000 plastic bottles — for a 140-room hotel, according to a report from Lodging Magazine.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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