The Nostalgic End of Those Little Plastic Bottles of Shampoo and Conditioning in Hotels

If you’ve been to a hotel, you knew exactly what I was talking about when you read that title. I don’t know if it’s just me, but whenever I stay at a hotel, I am transfixed by those plastic bottles. They’re just so small and elegant, an artistic masterpiece of human ingenuity. I think their only flaw is that they’re used as disposable bottles. The trash heap is no place for such beauty.

So it is with mixed feelings that I relay some important news: New York has decided to ban these bottles from hotels. From January 1, 2024, all toiletry bottles smaller than 12 ounces will not be available anywhere in the state. This change, of course, is an effort to reduce single-use plastics to keep the ocean a little cleaner. In that sense, it’s certainly an admirable goal, but I can’t help but be saddened by it. I’m sure that’s a personal thing, though––so yes, this article does count as a story that makes you smile. Thank you for asking.

Interestingly enough, New York is the second state to pass such a ban. California was the first, and it’s scheduled there for January 2023. Some major hotel chains, however, have already taken steps to reduce their plastic consumption. Marriott, for instance, has recently stopped using plastic bottles-–and that makes alone makes a huge difference (500 million bottles, in fact).

Said Eric Goldstein, senior attorney and New York City Environment Director at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “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. This new law tackles the ever-growing problem. . . and will prevent tens of millions of plastic bottles from becoming a waste burden in New York every year.”

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