New York is Phasing Out Mini-Toiletry Bottles From Hotels

The Big Apple is cleaning up.


Plastic, New York
Mini-toiletry bottles like these will be phased out.

(Simone Hogan /

Mini bottles of fragrant shampoos and body wash have been a big part of the luxurious amenities of staying in a hotel. Many people look forward to being pampered with these perks.

But have you stopped to think of what happens to all those partially used toiletries or of all those plastic bottles? New York State has and that is why they voted to ban the use of these bottles beginning on January 1, 2024 for larger hotels and 2025 for smaller ones.

The law was introduced by State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, according to Inhabit, and prohibits the use of plastic toiletry bottles smaller than 12 ounces (354 milliliters). This will require hotels to switch to larger refillable dispensers.

“Small actions, such as eliminating disposable toiletry bottles in hotels, can make a big difference in protecting our environment,” Kaminsky said in a statement when he proposed the bill in 2019. “By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our planet, reducing plastic waste and preventing waterway pollution.”

This is a very important step because every year, 8 million tons of plastic go into the oceans according to the Ocean Conservatory and plastic bottles make up a good part of it. In fact, the organization stressed that this amount is compared to dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the Atlantic Ocean every minute for a full year.

“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,” Eric A. Goldstein, senior attorney and New York City environment director at Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement. “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 is the second state to pass this type of law. California passed a law in 2019 banning the mini toiletry bottles that goes into effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms and 2024 for smaller ones, reported The New York Daily News.

The New York ban was supported by many hotel groups and industry groups that are looking to green their operations. Many large chains have already started eliminating single-use mini toiletries already.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain with over 7,000 hotels announced in 2019 that it was eliminating the travel-sized plastic bottles in a move to reduce plastic disposal by 30 percent. This move is expected to save 500 million small bottles a year from going into the environment.

Another large chain, Accor Hotels made a similar move in 2020 and began replacing the individual bottles with wall dispensers and refillable glass containers as part of their sustainability plan. Similar commitments have been made by Walt Disney Company, by the InterContinental Hotels Group, and the Hyatt chain according to Inhabit.

These voluntary efforts by the travel industry to reduce plastic waste is a good first step in reducing the amount of plastic in landfills and waterways. But more is needed.  Other states and municipalities should follow the examples set by New York and California and follow suit by banning the use of single-use plastics.

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