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Monday 14. October 2019

#3 Reducing plastic waste in hotels might become a legal issue

Canadian and Californian governments want to vote out mini shampoo bottles in hotels.

Inspired by the European Parliament, which voted to impose a ban on single-use plastics, The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, wants to impose a similar ban, to take effect in 2021. Right now, he is considering items such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws. Meanwhile, California is also proposing to ban single-use plastic toiletry bottles in hotels by 2023, replacing them with reusable toiletry amenities like closed dispenser systems.

Prime Minister Trudeau explains, ‘To be honest, as a dad, it’s tough trying to explain this to my kids. How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags?’

So, he decided to take a stand and outlaw disposable plastics by 2021. Trudeau says he drew inspiration from the European Parliament, which had already voted overwhelmingly in favour of imposing a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics such as straws, bags, bottles and coffee lids to counter the pollution of waterways and fields with discarded plastic items.

In Canada, the specific items to be banned will be determined by scientific reviews, but the government is also considering items such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws. The reviews want to also make sure that small businesses do not face difficulties but rather opportunities when implementing the new regulations.

California also wants to ban single-use plastic toiletry bottles in hotels. State lawmakers are proposing a bill that would ban the mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion that are often found in hotel bathrooms. The proposed law would reportedly go into effect in 2023 and encourage hotels to replace them with reusable toiletry amenities like closed dispenser systems, helping to cut down on plastic waste.

‘Plastic pollution is an urgent global crisis and the time is now to think “reusable” instead of “disposable,”’ says Dianna Cohen, co-founder and CEO of the Plastic Pollution Coalition based in Berkeley, California.

Industry leaders in California are behind the bill as well. Lynn Mohrfeld, president and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association, says his group is ‘fully supportive’ of the initiative.

Originally, he didn’t think the legislation was necessary, because the industry was already going in that direction; but now he’s glad everyone in the business can reach a common goal. It seems everyone is pulling together to reduce waste and increase our well-being. And more countries are expected to follow.

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