California has become the first state to ban plastic single-use hotel toiletries like shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles. So it’s going to become even more important for you to remember to bring your own shampoo and conditioner from home when traveling to California in the future. We expect hotels to vary on solutions, but good news because that means less plastic in the ocean. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like why you should throw away that black plastic spatula in your kitchen RIGHT NOW, best plastic-free solutions for the kitchen, & best non-toxic teas without plastic tea bags, now join us as we take you through the new California ban and how this will affect your family as you are traveling.
Table of Contents
Single-Use Plastics Are Becoming a Big Problem
Single-use plastics enter the oceans at a rate of between 3 and 13 million tons per year. The World Economic Forum estimates that there are 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean around the globe.
There’s so much plastic everywhere that it is also showing up inside our food supply and inside us. A 2018 study found that 93 percent of bottled water samples contained microplastics. The brand providing the dirtiest bottled water containing the most microplastics was Nestle Pure Life.
Long story short, we need to cut this plastic addition. And this short video from The Story of Stuff puts the solution into perspective.
Cities, States & Counties That Have Taken a Stand Against Single-Use Plastic
Cities, states and counties around the United States have taken action against single-use plastic. Now that California has pushed the goal post even further, we anticipate more states & cities to follow. Here’s a list of states, cities & other districts across the US that have passed laws restricting single-use plastics.
- Alaska has several cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Wasilla, Cordova, Hooper Bay, Bethel.
- California is a bit of a unicorn here. Here’s a list of counties and cities that have instituted bans or restrictions on single-use plastic: Del Mar, Alameda County, St. Helena, Oceanside, San Diego, Danville, Sacramento County, Yountville, Santa Barbara County, Cathedral City, Hermosa Beach, American Canyon, Milpitas, Seaside, Layfayette, Manhattan Beach, Fairfax, Pacifica, Sacramento, Marina, Encinitas, Hercules, Pacific Grove, Pleasant Hill, Nevada City, Mountain View, Monrovia, King City, Martinez, Chico, Grass Valley, Calistoga, Indio, Walnut Creek, Belvedere, South Pasadena, Arcata, Palm Springs, Los Alamos, Santa Barbara, South Lake Tahoe, Monterey County, San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Salinas, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Sausalito, Sebastopol, Sonoma City, & Sonoma County.
- Colorado has several cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Crested Butte, Avon, Nederland, Breckenridge, Boulder, Aspen, Carbondale, & Telluride
- Connecticut has two cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Greenwich, Westport
- Delaware followed Maine and later passed a law that prevents retailers from supplying plastic bags unless they provide a convenient storefront receptacle to ensure used bags are collected and recycled.
- District of Columbia followed Maine and later passed a law that prevents retailers from supplying plastic bags unless they provide a convenient storefront receptacle to ensure used bags are collected and recycled.
- Hawaii has a de facto statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. They prohibit non-biodegradable plastic bags and paper bags containing less than 40% recycled material. Cities of Oahu, and Oahu County, Hawaii County, Honolulu, Maui County, Kauai County all have single-use plastic restrictions on the books as well.
- Illinois has several cities that have instituted bans on single-use plastic bags: Oak Park, Chicago, Evanston.
- Massachusets has several cities and counties that have instituted bans on single-use plastic bags: Dartmouth, Wilmington, Haverhill, Andover, Lowell, Danvers, Westford, Gloucester, Hopkinton, Belmont, Boston, Cohasset, Winchester, Marshfield, Westborough, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wayland, Wakefield, Melrose, South Hadley, Sudbury, Dalton, Yarmouth, Arlington, Stockbridge, Bourne, Oak Bluffs, Framingham, Edgartown, Athol, Sandwich, Ipswich, Dennis, Bedford, Plymouth, Natick, Watertown, Shrewsbury, Lenox, Lee, Adams, Amherst, Chilmark, Aquinnah, West Tisbury, Tisbury, Salem, Wellesly, Barnstable, Somerville, Falmouth, Hamilton, Harwich, Cambridge, Truro, Bridgewater, Northampton, Concord, Chatham, Wellfleet, Williamstown, Newton, Marblehead, Provincetown, Newburyport, Great Barrington, Manchester, & Brookline
- Maryland has several cities and counties that have instituted bans on single-use plastic bags: Harford, Aberdeen, Takoma Park, Montgomery County, & Chestertown.
- Maine started a trend in 1991 and passed a law that prevents retailers from supplying plastic bags unless they provide a convenient storefront receptacle to ensure used bags are collected and recycled. Additional cities and counties also have laws on the books: Rockland, Manchester, Blue Hill, Bath, Belfast, Cape Elizabeth, Brunswick, Topsham, Saco, Freeport, Kennebunk, Falmouth, York, South Portland, & Portland.
- North Carolina has several counties that have banned single-use plastics: Hyde County, Dare County, & Currituck County.
- New Jersey has several cities and counties that have banned single-use plastic bags: Jersey City, Belmar, Brigantine Beach, Joboken Bradley Beach, Stafford Township, Atlantic County, Teaneck, Monmouth Beach, Long Beach, Point Pleasant Beach, & Longport.
- New Mexico has two cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Silver City & Santa Fe
- New York State has banned single-use plastic bags and applies fees. In addition, the following cities and counties also have laws on the books banning or restricting single-use plastic bags: Bedford, Lewisboro, Sea Cliff, Suffolk County, Long Beach, New Castle, New York City, Patchogue Village, Sag Harbor, Southampton, New Paltz Village, Hastings on the Hudson, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, & East Hampton.
- Oregon prohibits retail establishments and restaurants from providing single-use plastic bags to customers unless they charge five cents per bag. Several cities have also banned single-use plastic bags: Milwaukie, Manzanita, McMinnville, Hood River, Forest Grove, Ashland, Eugene, Corvallis, & Portland.
- Rhode Island followed Maine and later passed a law that prevents retailers from supplying plastic bags unless they provide a convenient storefront receptacle to ensure used bags are collected and recycled. The following cities also have single-use plastic bag bans: Providence, North Kingston, Jamestown, North Shoreham, Newport, Middletown, & Barrington.
- South Carolina has several cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Mount Pleasant, Beaufort County, Surfside Beach, Folly Beach, & Isle of Palms
- Texas has several cities and counties that have banned single-use plastic bags: Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Port Aransas, Laredo, Kermit, Sunset Valley, Freer, Austin, Laguna Vista, South Padre Island, & Fort Stockton.
- Utah has three cities that have banned single-use plastic bags: Moab, Park City & Park City
- Washington State has several cities and counties that have banned single-use plastic bags: Kenmore, Laconner Port Angeles, Tacoma, Friday Harbor, San Juan County, Tumwater, Thurston County, Olympia, Lacey, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Issaquah, Mukilteo, Port Townsend, Bainbridge Island, Bellingham, Seattle, & Edmonds.
- Washtenaw County in Michigan has a ban on single-use plastic bags.
- Marshall County in Iowa has a county-wide ban on single-use plastic bags.
- Montgomery County has a ban on single-use plastic and applies fees.
- San Francisco Airport has banned single-use water bottles.
- The City of Brattleboro in Vermont has a town-wide ban on single-use plastics.
- The City of Portsmouth in New Hampshire has a city-wide ban on single-use plastic on city land and a ban on styrofoam city-wide.
NEW LAW ON PLASTIC BREAKING NEW GROUND: California Governor Signs Bill to Ban Single-Use Plastic Hotel Toiletries
California has been tackling plastic for years. In 2014, they were the first state to ban plastic bags. With climate change & a legal battle for environmental independence from Washington looming, California has again made big changes yet again. This year, they focused their efforts on single-use plastic hotel toiletries.
California Governor Newsom signed a bill banning single-use plastic shampoo, conditioner, & lotion bottles in hotels. It’s the first in the country. Hotels over 50 beds will have till January 2023 to phase out single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioners, and soaps. Hotels with fewer than 50 beds will have until 2024 to comply with the new law. After that, hotels that are in violation of the law will face fines–$500 for an initial fine and $2,000 for a second violation.
This law will NOT apply to nursing homes, retirement homes, hospitals, prisons or homeless shelters.
The Hotel & Travel Industry Has Started to Make Greener Moves
Before California passed its single-use ban on hotel toiletries, they noticed that brands were already starting to make such changes in the hotel industry. Of course there was some rumblings from the plastics industry, but the bill found support among the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) and other industry groups. Here are some of the changes that big hotel and travel industry companies have made thus far.
- Walt Disney Company stopped using single-use plastic shampoo bottles in resorts and ships as of 2018.
- Intercontinental Hotels Group was the first hotel group to phase out single-use plastic shampoo bottles across all their brands and properties
- Marriot Hotels, the world’s largest hotel chain, followed suit with a similar pledge last year. Marriot will replace them with bulk dispensers in its showers. The program from Marriott is expected to save an average of 250 pounds of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel, this is the equivalent of 23,000 plastic bottles, according to Lodging Magazine.
- Red Carnation Hotels Collection’s luxury boutique hotels and lodges have been replacing plastic straws, takeaway coffee cups & lids.
- London’s The Ruben at the Palace Hotel is offering pasta straws in place of plastic straws. Gluten-sensitive guests can request biodegradable paper straws.
- Capt Town’s The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa has adopted using bamboo & cardboard straws.
- Hyatt Hotels have eliminated plastic straws and drink picks.
- Kimpton Hotels within the U.S. and Grand Cayman carry mounted or free-standing bath amenities to cut out the use of single-use plastic shampoo bottles. They have also eliminated plastic straws, but offer eco-friendly alternatives on request.
- Hilton Hotels have removed straws from it’s 650 managed properties worldwide. They are offering paper or biodegradable versions instead. Hilton has also removed plastic water bottles from meetings and events at managed hotels in Greater China and Mongolia, which has eliminated 13 million plastic bottles annually. They have also transitioned from plastic to biodegradable paper straws at managed hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, diminishing the use of 2.5 million plastic straws per year.
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have removed plastic straws from their properties.
What Have the Airlines Done About Plastic?
Plastic reduction for airlines is a bit trickier because of time constraints between takeoff and landing, onboard space, and weight. There are some airlines that are making strides in this area and we are here to celebrate them.
- Thai Airways has banned plastic straws on all of their flights, except in special circumstances such as with children, the elderly, and the disabled.
- Scandinavian Airlines picks up the cost of offsetting carbon for its loyalty members, and many airlines allow flyers to buy a carbon offset.
- Alaska Airlines announced a partnership with Lonely Whale to acquire sustainable alternatives to plastic stir straws and other future changes. So far, they have stopped using plastic stir straws.
- Etihad Airways and Portuguese charter service Hi Fly are free of single-use plastics
- Qantas runs a “zero-landfill-waste flight” All inflight products onboard flying from Sydney to Adelaide and staffed by cabin crew from the Qantas ‘Green Team’, will be disposed of via compost, reuse or recycling.
Mamavation’s Tips on How to Avoid Needless Plastic
There are lots of little things you can do to reduce the amount of plastic you consume. And at Mamavation, we are concerned not only with the plastic you are purchasing and throwing away, but we are also concerned with the microplastics that are getting into your body from contamination in your food. That’s because plasticizers have the ability to leach into food and beverages when heat, heavy fat, or citric acid is also present. What can you do to reduce the amount of plastic in your home? We have some tips.
- Stop buying things you don’t need! That’s the biggest one. Simplify.
- Cut down on the amount of plastic on and around your food & beverages.
- Cook more of your food from home. Phthalate plasticizer exposure is higher among people who eat out more.
- Avoid putting plastic in the dishwasher. This breaks down the plasticizers inside and primes them for leaching.
- Replace plastic in the kitchen with products that will not leach into your food.
- Start making your own personal care products. Here are some recipes.
- Pick up a safer tea that doesn’t have plasticizers inside the tea bags
- Bring your own mug & bamboo utensils with you and keep it in the car or in your bag.
- Avoid water bottles and bring your own stainless steel or glass bottle with you. I love this glass water bottle that helps you track your water intake for the day.
- Bring your own reusable bag whenever you shop. I like these small ones that fit in your purse.
- Pick up some mesh reusable produce bags to swap out for plastic at the store.
- Bring your own stainless steel food containers when you go out to eat and ask them to put your leftovers inside.