It’s no secret that single-use plastic is one of the chief contributors to the pollution crisis. Around eight to ten million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, and in recent years, our newsfeeds have been flooded with images that clearly illustrate the suffering all that plastic inflicts on wildlife.
To address this problem, The State of New York has passed legislation that will phase out millions of mini single-use toiletry bottles. State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblymember Steve Englebright led Bills S543 and A5082, which will take effect on the first of January 2024. The bills will disallow hotels and motels from offering guests single-use plastic toiletry bottles smaller than 12 ounces. Instead, hotels are expected to start using alternatives, such as larger, refillable dispensers which will significantly curb the amount of wasted hard-to-reach liquid left behind in the bottles, as well as the quantity of plastic waste every guest produces.
New York joins the State of California, which enacted a ban on single-use plastic toiletry bottles back in 2019, set to take effect at the beginning of 2023.
Some hotels, like Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, are taking the personal initiative to ditch plastic mini toiletry bottles before they become illegal. The Marriott committed to banning the mini bottles by December of last year. The company estimates that thanks to this change, 500 million small bottles (1.7 million pounds of plastic) will be prevented from going into circulation every year.