According to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), New York has more than 210,000 hotel rooms, making it the fourth-largest hotel market of any state in the nation. With each hotel room, comes a plethora of small single-use plastic bottles containing personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Although these amenities may provide short-term convenience during a hotel stay or while traveling, these plastic bottles take hundreds of years to break down into microplastics that make their way into our environment.
While this legislation would prohibit hotels from providing guests with small plastic bottles, it does not restrict the hotel from providing personal care products. Specifically, the legislation encourages the use of bulk dispensers of personal care product.
Luckily, these changes are already happening. In 2018, Marriot International announced that they will be replacing soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles with in-shower dispensers. The program is expected to save approximately 23,000 plastic bottles per year. Making the switch from single-use plastic bottles to reusable dispensers will save money and reduce unnecessary plastic waste.
By getting rid of small single-use plastic bottles in hotels, this bill facilitates important waste reduction measures in the hotel industry, which will provide great benefits in helping to address the harmful accumulation of plastics in our environment.
This legislation amends the environmental conservation law to restrict hotels from making available to hotel guests’ personal care products in small plastic bottles. This act shall take effect January 1, 2023 for all hotels with fifty rooms or more, and January 1, 2024 for all hotels with less than fifty rooms.