New York Bans Single-Use Toiletry Bottles In Hotels

Jun 06, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Staying in a hotel can be eye-opening! Everywhere we look, there’s single-use plastic — tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, body wash, body lotion, soap packets, toothpaste — you name it. On average, a hotel with 200 rooms will use around 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in a month. Yes, you read that right!

In a bid to combat plastic pollution, the State of New York has officially banned the distribution of mini, single-use plastic toiletry bottles in hotels! Commencing in January 2024, hotels will begin using sustainable alternatives, like refillable dispensers. 

New York Bans Plastic Toiletry BottlesNew York Bans Plastic Toiletry Bottles

The New Law To Reduce Plastic Waste

This amazing legislation, put forward by State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assembly member Steve Englebright, will ban hotels and motels from offering guests single-use plastic toiletry bottles smaller than 12 ounces (354ml). From January 1st, 2024, hotels must switch to larger, refillable dispensers for products like shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash. 

“Reducing single-use plastics is vital in the fight against the climate crisis — plastic is a major source of carbon emissions and a financial anchor to the fossil fuel industry,” says Eric A. Goldstein, Senior Attorney and New York City Environment Director at NRDC in a statement.“This new law tackles the ever-growing problem associated with plastic waste and will prevent tens of millions of plastic bottles from becoming a waste burden in New York every year,” says Goldstein.

New York Bans Single Use Toiletry Bottles In HotelsNew York Bans Single Use Toiletry Bottles In Hotels

New York Joins California To Curb Plastic Waste In Hotels!

In 2019, The State of California became the first state in the U.S. to legislate the ban on single-use toiletry bottles! Commencing January 1st, 2023, hotels with more than 50 rooms will be banned from using small plastic toiletry bottles. In 2024, this ban will extend to smaller establishments. 

The Golden State is renowned for its progressive stance towards reducing plastic waste. In 2014, it was the first state to ban single-use plastic bags, and in 2018, it became the first to ban plastic straws at dine-in restaurants!

It’s expected that more states in the U.S. will follow suit and enforce similar bans on single-use hotel plastics.

Recycable BottlesRecycable Bottles

Sustainable Change Is Happening

Some major hotel chains are already leading the way towards a plastic-free future! Marriot — the largest hotel chain in the world — effectively banned all single-use plastic bottles in December 2020. Each of its 7,000 hotels in 131 countries are now equipped with refillable wall-mounted bottles or larger, recyclable bottles.

They’ve estimated that the ban will save 500 million plastic bottles from entering landfill each year, which is the equivalent of 1.7 million pounds of plastic

Hilton Worldwide — another iconic hotel chain — has been free of plastic straws since the end of 2018; saving 250 million straws from entering landfill, annually. They’ve also swapped plastic key cards for digital key cards at a number of hotels and eliminated all plastic bottles from meetings and events held at the hotels.

Plastic Free HotelPlastic Free Hotel

Will We Eventually See Plastic-Free Hotels?

It’s a big question and an even bigger feat — but it’s definitely a possibility! Currently, hotels around the world rely on single-use items that are convenient, hygienic and affordable to buy in bulk. In most hotels, the accumulated waste from each guest is totally excessive! 

We, as hotel guests, have a lot of power to create change and start the plastic-free conversation. According to new research, 9 in 10 Australian consumers are more likely to purchase ethical and sustainable products, and 85% of us want retailers and brands to be more transparent about the sustainability of their products!

These findings definitely extend to the hotel industry. We’d love to see more hotels take sustainable steps to achieve a plastic-free status!

Some hotels are truly stepping up the global standard for eco-friendly hotels. This list of the World’s Most Sustainable Hotels features some amazing plastic-free and energy-saving initiatives. Despite having closed borders due to Covid, we can still dream (and plan) for our next holiday… fingers crossed!

Love hearing about sustainable, plastic-free initiatives? Check out the Eco News category for more!

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