SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The little plastic bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion you get at hotels could be a thing of the past in California.
Assembly Bill 1162 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee by a 12-4 vote (two Assemblymembers did not vote.)
The bill would ban “lodging establishments”, including hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals, from offering small plastic bottles holding 12 ounces or under of product in rooms or public spaces. Instead, the establishments could offer “bulk dispensers” that could be used by a number of people. The goal is to cut down on the number of plastic containers thrown away by guests and operators. The law wouldn’t apply to nursing homes, hospitals, long-term rentals, or hosted rentals.
If passed and signed into law, it would take effect January 1, 2023, for lodging establishments with more than 50 rooms, and January 1, 2024, for lodging establishments with fewer than 50 rooms.
The bill is modeled after an ordinance adopted by the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors last year. Starting December 31, 2020, lodging establishments will be banned from distributing single-use toiletry bottles.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D- San Jose) authored AB 1192 and said, “The amount of plastic produced is increasing exponentially, and we must consider
all options to reduce this pollution from entering our waste streams. 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 AB 1162 becomes law, lodging establishments would be inspected and owners/operators would face fines if they’re caught violating the law. A first violation would result in a written warning; second and subsequent violations would result in a $500-per-day fine.
The California Hotel and Lodging Association opposed AB 1162, writing:
“Our concern with the bill as currently drafted is that it will interfere with the industry’s existing sustainability efforts, which were designed by industry experts to reduce our environmental footprint while accounting for the operational, safety and hygiene factors associated with implementing these policies.”
Some hotel chains are already trying to cut the number of plastic it uses a year. Marriott International already announced plans to install bulk dispensers in 450 of its properties, including the Ritz-Carlton. According to the bill analysis, Marriott estimates the change will cut its plastic use by 250 pounds per hotel, for a total of 113,000 pounds globally.