Those small shampoo and conditioner bottles, popular with travelers but unpopular with anti-plastics advocates, would be banned in California hotels under a bill that cleared the state Assembly on Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 1162 drew snarky responses and nanny-state criticism from Republicans after it was introduced, but no lawmakers spoke in opposition Wednesday. The bill passed 42 to 23.
The bill’s author, Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), said the small plastic bottles in hotels may be convenient, but they are also damaging the environment.
“Those tiny plastic shampoo bottles that are common in hotel rooms represent a sizable amount of waste that can be easily eliminated in more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives,” Kalra said.
AB 1162 would take effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms and a year later for all other hotels and rental homes. Hotels could still provide the small bottles of shampoo and other personal care products to guests upon request.
The trade group representing manufacturers and distributors of the small shampoos, conditioners and soaps, the Personal Care Products Council, opposed the bill, saying it would hurt businesses that sell to hotels.
“I’m not a big fan of bans, and I like these” products, said Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) in a hearing in April. “I collect them up in the hotel rooms.”
The California Hotel and Lodging Assn. supported the bill, saying some of the world’s largest hotel companies, including Marriott and InterContinental Hotels, have been phasing out the small complimentary bottles and replacing them with large in-shower dispensers.
Marriott officials said they expected to save an average of 250 pounds of plastic a year — or 23,000 plastic bottles — for each 140-room hotel that stopped stocking rooms with the mini shampoos and conditioners.