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California Governor Signs Ban on Small Plastic Bottles in Hotels

California governor Gavin Newsom (Mike Blake/Reuters)

California governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that he has signed a law banning hotels from providing guests with the small, disposable plastic bottles containing personal-care products such as shampoo and conditioner that are a common staple of the industry.

The ban on plastic bottles holding less than six ounces will go into effect on January 1, 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms, and one year after that for hotels with 50 or fewer rooms. The law allows a local agency to conduct inspections and issue citations if hotels do not comply. A first violation carries a $500 fine and a second carries a $2,000 fine.

The law makes California “the first state in the country to accelerate more sustainable alternatives in hotel and lodging industry,” said Ash Kalra, the Democratic state assemblyman who wrote the bill. “We have reached a tipping point for action and more needs to be done that transitions consumers and businesses towards more sustainable alternatives. Given our state’s large presence in tourism, this will be a model for the nation.”

Many hotels have jumped on board with the law’s goals. Marriott International is aiming to eliminate small plastic bottles at all its hotels by December 2020, while IHG, the owner of Holiday Inn and other hotels, plans to eliminate close to 200 million small bottles by 2021.

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