Bill Memo: Travel Without Plastic
This legislation amends the environmental conservation law to restrict hotels from making personal care products in small plastic bottles available to hotel guests. This act shall take effect January 1, 2024 for all hotels with fifty rooms or more, and January 1, 2025 for all hotels with less than fifty rooms.
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. A back of an envelope calculation suggests that in a single day there are over half a million plastic travel bottles awaiting use and disposal.
Although these amenities may provide short-term convenience, these bottles are another example of unnecessary, wasteful single-use plastic products that plastic products that perpetuate our addiction to plastics and fuel the plastic pollution crisis. It is estimated that more than 8 billion tons of indestructible plastic has been produced worldwide over the past six decades, with almost 350 million tons of plastic produced a year. Fifty percent of this plastic is estimated for single-use purposes.
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 products.
Luckily, these changes are already happening. Marriott International has already taken steps by replacing soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles with in-shower dispensers. When Marriott fully rolls out the program world-wide it is expected to prevent about 500 million bottles annually from going to landfills or about 1.7 million pounds of plastic.
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. It will also reduce our demand for virgin materials, like petroleum which is used to produce plastic, and help educate consumers and shift expectations about convenience–driven single-use plastics.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 8