Hotels in New York State could soon be forced to ditch mini toiletries.
A group of lawmakers is proposing a ban for hotels with more than 50 rooms from 2023, while smaller hotels would have to follow suit in 2024.
Long Island Democrat Senator Todd Kaminsky is spearheading the campaign, which would cut out an estimated 27.4 million plastic bottles a year.
“By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our environment, and mitigating plastic waste and waterway pollution,” he said.
Hotels would be given the option of replacing mini toiletry bottles with wall-mounted refillable dispensers, reusable bottles or recyclable, non-plastic, single-use containers.
The hospitality industry is backing the idea, with the Hotel Association of New York City and the state Hospitality and Tourism Association both supportive of the proposal.
It follows California’s decision to consider a state-wide ban of single-use plastic toiletry containers in hotels.
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Members of the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 1162 in April as part of a move to reduce the use of plastics and plastic waste.
The bill would ban “lodging establishments”, including hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts and holiday apartments, from offering small plastic bottles holding 340ml or under of product in rooms or public spaces.
Establishments could offer “bulk dispensers” instead of individual toiletries.
“The amount of plastic produced is increasing exponentially, and we must consider all options to reduce this pollution from entering our waste streams,” said Assembly Member Ask Kalra at the time.
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“While it may not appear to be a problem on an individual level, small plastic bottles that are less than 12 ounces represent a sizeable amount of waste collectively that the state must address.”
If it becomes law, establishments would likely face hefty fines of up to $2,000 if found contravening the rules more than once.
Hotel chain Marriott has already announced plans to swap mini bottle for bulk dispensers in 450 of its hotels.