Hotels in New York state will no longer be allowed to use plastic toiletry bottles smaller than 12 ounces starting January 1, 2024. This is as a result of a new law that was passed by the state. Bills S543 and A5082, which were led by State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblymember Steve Englebright, ban the use of such bottles in hotels in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.
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The law comes into effect at a time when our oceans continue to be flooded with plastic. Photos of marine life, including sharks and sea turtles, stuck in plastic waste have raised uproar from members of the public. Today, about 10 million tons of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans.
The new law means that hotels will be required to switch to larger, refillable dispensers. Consequently, this will lead to a reduction in the number of plastic bottles, and the amount of unused liquids, that are discarded.
“Reducing single-use plastics is vital in the fight against the climate crisis — plastic is a major source of carbon emissions and a financial anchor to the fossil fuel industry,” said Eric A. Goldstein, senior attorney and New York City Environment Director at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “This new law tackles the ever-growing problem associated with plastic waste and will prevent tens of millions of plastic bottles from becoming a waste burden in New York every year.”
New York becomes the second U.S. state to pass such a law. In 2019, California passed a ban on single-use plastic toiletry bottles, effective 2023. The New York ban takes effect at the start of 2024 for hotels with more than 50 rooms, and smaller hotels will be required to implement the ban starting in 2025.
With the plastic pollution crisis growing around the world, several major hotel chains have already taken matters into their own hands. Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain with over 7,000 properties, committed to ending its use of mini toiletry bottles. The move by Marriott hotels alone is estimated to save around 500 million small bottles from going to landfills or ending up in oceans each year. This is an equivalent of 1.7 million pounds of plastic waste, according to the company’s estimates. Similar commitments have also been made by the InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt and Walt Disney Co.
Image via Q. K.