New York State Passes Ban on Small- Bottle Toiletries in Hotel Rooms

Move Limits Single-Use Plastic and Product Waste, Drives Reusable Dispensers. Hotels Will Be Able to Offer Items Upon Request

 

(Albany, New York – July 23, 2020) – Today, the New York legislature passed S. 5282-B (Kaminsky et al.) / A. 7662-B (Englebright), a bill to prohibit the provision of small bottle personal care products in hotels, effective in 2023.

In response to the legislature’s action, Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York, made the following statement:

“Banning disposable bottled toiletries in hotel rooms will significantly cut back on single-use plastic. Many hotels already provide shampoo and soap in refillable dispensers, so travelers have the convenience without the harmful impact on our planet. Clean and Healthy New York thanks Environmental Conservation Committee Chairs Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright for their leadership in sponsoring this bill. So often, there are simple solutions to avoid toxics and plastic waste – we are grateful that New York State is embracing them.”

“With Washington asleep at the wheel, New York must act to protect our planet and promote sustainable solutions — and that’s exactly what we did today,” said Todd Kaminsky, Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair and bill sponsor. “Everyday actions, like eliminating small plastic bottles, will go a long way in protecting our environment. By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our planet, mitigating plastic waste and preventing waterway pollution.”  

“This legislation will begin to remove plastic from the solid waste stream.   Single use plastic results in environmental damage and disposal costs paid for by taxpayers.  Once implemented, the bill will produce a win for the environment, a win for taxpayers and reduced costs for businesses. Refillable dispensers are reused effective at lower costs with much less plastic waste. A number of hotels are already doing this,” said Steve Englebright, Assembly Environmental Conservation Chair and bill sponsor.

Small personal care product bottles offered at hotels are wasteful at several crucial points. They are thrown away if even partially used, as is very often the case. Even when finished, these bottles produce enormous amounts of plastic waste. Sustainable solutions, such as dispensers and refillable bottles, are commonplace in the hotel industry and elsewhere.

Plastics, and particularly those used in toiletries – commonly PVC – pose significant health risks to humans, including but not limited to cancer, birth defects, genetic changes, ulcers, skin diseases, deafness, vision failure, indigestion, and liver dysfunction. The production of plastics is energy-intensive and necessarily creates harmful pollution, and there is insufficient capacity at the solid waste level to adequately recycle them once produced. A reduction in the production and use of plastics is therefore an important component to detoxifying our supply chains. Banning small bottles would be a big step towards reducing our reliance on harmful single-use plastics.

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Clean and Healthy New York works for safer chemicals, a sustainable economy, and a healthier world. It co-leads the JustGreen Partnership, over 50 organizations working for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities, and leads the national Getting Ready for Baby campaign working to ensure all baby and children’s products are free of harmful chemicals.​

The JustGreen Partnership is a coalition of about 50 groups representing nearly a million New Yorkers, all working together for environmental health and justice for New York’s people and communities. The Partnership focuses on transforming the policies that govern how chemicals are regulated or marketed in the great State of New York. Through our work, we are building a better movement for health and environmental justice in New York State.

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