Complimentary hotel shampoo bottles could start disappearing

They're one of the little pleasures of staying at a hotel, but their days could be numbered, at least in California: tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles.

In an effort to reduce waste, California state lawmakers are seeking to ban hotels and other lodging establishments from providing single-use small plastic bottles to their customers.

Introduced by Assemblyman Ash Kalra and co-authored by Assemblyman Mark Stone, the bill was first proposed in February. If it passes, it will be put into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The types of businesses the bill refers to include establishments like a hotel, motel, resort, bed and breakfast or vacation rental.

The bill would allow local authorities to inspect and enforce these requirements with a written warning upon first violation, and up to a $2,000 fine for those who fail to comply.

"We know we have an enormous problem with our world: We’ve become addicted to [plastic] and it's caused a major dilemma environmentally," said Kalra.

"We're talking about hundreds and millions of bottles a year and that’s just in California," Kalra said.

"It's a pretty easy fix," Stone added.

Some companies are already moving away from the single-use bottles. Last year, Marriott announced plans to replace individual amenity bottles with in-shower dispensers at 1,500 hotels in North America.

Of the measure,Roland Geyer, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara who studies the environmental impact of industrial production and consumption, said, "It's mostly symbolic, but symbols can be powerful. Hopefully it will show consumers we can stop using plastic products and realize we won't miss them."

With 348 million tons of plastic produced in 2017, Geyer said 40% of that production is single-use packaging.

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