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California Seeks To Eliminate Single-Use Care Products In Hotels

By Danielle Dorsey

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A California bill seeks to eliminate those free mini bath products that we all love to collect from hotels and other hospitality establishments. Assembly Bill 1162 passed in the Assembly last week and is currently being examined by the California Senate.

The bill dictates that beginning in 2023, lodging establishments with more than 50 rooms will be prohibited from providing personal products in single-use plastic bottles in bathrooms or sleeping quarters. Establishments with 50 rooms or less will have until January 2024 to meet these requirements.

The bill represents part of a larger state campaign to phase out single-use plastics altogether. If passed, it will become the first state law of its kind. Ash Kalra, one of the bill’s sponsors, told the NY Times that the industry is already moving in that direction and that the change is more likely to affect customers.

Industry observers are also worried about how customers will adjust, in addition to how the proposed law will affect housekeeping staff. Many hotels operate programs to repurpose such items, donating them to homeless shelters or emergency relief operations.

The bill is part of a larger global trend to curb landfill and ocean waste by reducing single-use plastics. In March, the state of New York approved a fiscal budget that includes a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. As of July 2018, products with plastic micro-beads will be completely banned in Canada. Kenya has the world’s most severe plastic bag ban, threatening anyone who’s found using, producing, or selling a plastic bag with up to four years in jail, or a $38,000 fine.

According to the Plastic Oceans Foundation, single-use plastics make up 50 percent of the 300 million tons of plastic that’s being produced yearly, contributing to the more than 8 million tons of plastic that end of up in the ocean each year. Statistics like that make packing your own personal care options seem like a small sacrifice.

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