California Bans Hotel Mini-Shampoos

If you’re a Californian, the days of travel-size shampoo, conditioner, and soap bottles seen in hotels are nearing an end. Come January 1, 2023, they’ll be illegal.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1162 on Wednesday, sunsetting the small toiletry containers that some say are a noxious waste of single-use plastics. Establishments with more than 50 rooms must comply by 2023, while those with less than 50 rooms have until January 1, 2024.

A fine of $500 dollars will be assessed for the first violation and will increase to $2,000 for subsequent infractions. The law stipulates that a local agency may conduct inspections to ensure compliance.

But while the push to regulate plastic out of mainstream usage may be well-intentioned, it is not supported by data.

The panic is rooted in the presence of various plastics in the ocean. Those of the single-use variety—from straws, to plastic bags, to bottles—have become a fitting scapegoat for the plight of marine life, a concern that penetrated popular discourse after a viral video showed a sea turtle having a straw removed from its nose.

Environmental advocates aren’t wrong about the underlying issue: 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. But as Andrew Glover notes at Quillette, a large part of that figure comes from microplastics: shards of debris that are less than 5 millimeters long. The majority of those aren’t derived from the much-despised plastic bottles and straws, but rather from synthetic tires and the laundering of synthetic clothing. (It’s worth mentioning that a study by the World Health Organization concluded that there were no “overt health concerns” to drinking water containing microplastics.)

Glover also highlights the excess of fishing-related accessories in the ocean, which account for 46 percent of the ocean’s total plastic contents.

Yet that obviously isn’t the entire picture. A study found that 40 percent of plastics are made to be single-use, some of which are bound to be dumped in the water. What activists fail to mention is that approximately 60 percent of plastic trash in the ocean comes from just five countries—China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—which have notoriously inefficient waste management systems. America, meanwhile, contributes less than 1 percent.

Indeed, to actually make a dent in this problem—a problem which very much exists—requires global citizens to focus on waste management in the developing world and on the irresponsible disposal of fishing gear. A blanket ban on hotel toiletry containers is certain to have no effect whatsoever.

That may not have been the goal of the legislation, though. Roland Geyer, a professor of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a supporter of the bill, told ABC News that the legislation is “mostly symbolic, but symbols can be powerful.”

It’s true that large companies may take notice and follow suit on their own. Some already have: Marriott International expressed that they will phase out the travel-size toiletries by the end of 2020. But that must also come with the understanding that it will have a near-negligible impact.

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  1. good! now they won’t get up a turtle’s nose. how are the homeless doing? spend your time wisely.

  2. Had enough yet folks?
    This has little to do with cleaning the environment, and more to do with these damned democrat control freak megalomaniacs who believe that they are our ruling elite here in commiefonia, and everywhere else. This is just them continuing their inexorable push to control every aspect of our lives. This will never stop due to any effort on their part as they see no wrongdoing in it.
    As far as they are concerned, they know better than we how our entire lives should be run, and they are hellbent to do so, as the above example gives testimony to. They will use ANY excuse to further extend and tighten their grip to tell us what to do and how to think. They are insane with their desire to achieve the power to utterly control everyone and everything. And they will say, or do, anything to accomplish their goal.
    Don’t believe me? Just watch them all at that LGBT – LMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ alphabet soup “discussion” that they attended a day or so ago. It’s right there on YouTube for all to see what they really want to do to us all. And they are not shy about revealing it to us. Pay special attention to what “Beto” O’Rourke and Cory Booker are telling us what they have in store for us should they ever gain the power over us to do so. This should frighten the daylights out of you.
    And shame on any of us who are comfortable with allowing this to happen, and on them for wanting to do so.
    The only question that I can think of for you now is, why are you still voting for these democrat wannabe tyrants? Why?

  3. STEPHANIE Clare HART says

    Another stupid bill. These small bottles are used again and again and are collected in businesses for the homeless. Ban the straws and small bottles but keep the crap and needles on the street.

  4. Newsome is a nuisance. He won’t clean his city but worries about less than 1% of plastic over hypodermic needles sitting all over San Francisco. He’s a waste of tax payer money. He brags about having plenty of state funds and yet throws it away on less than 1% of plastic waste. He is as frivolous as all of his ‘new’ bills.

  5. Laughable idiocy! Not one shred of intelligence in California leadership.
    Pursuing nonsense while California implodes. This raises the question,
    is by design or, are they really that stupid?

  6. Another stupid, meaningless gesture perpetrated by liberals to make you think they are saving the planet! Its all about control for those narcissistic liberal morons. They are sure they know whats good for us regular, normal people that have real jobs. Where do these people get there egos inflated?

  7. Treva Bennett says

    As for me it won’t make a bit of difference. I never used any of these shampoos conditioners etc. Frankly I just would not be comfortable using them. I like my own “stuff”. Guess I am a strange bird. Maybe our bill would be reduced. No, I doubt it but they could be saving money that might be used for charitable purposes. Never the less I don’t like them telling people what they can and cannot do. More over reach by the Democrat dimwits that makes no sense.

  8. Small bottles, plastic straws, Lord help us but we have some very incompetent legislators. Where are the morons who voted for these idiots. Isn’t there more important things out there to fix? Beside wasting my tax dollars on regulating small bottles and violating our U.S. Constitution. There’s debt to address, schools to fix, public employee unions that need to be decertified because they are unethical, roads need repair, dams need building, nuclear power plants need building. But now, we have to regulate and tax the Citizens getting them all ready for the soup lines and chains of slavery.
    Democrats are carriers of stupidity and hate!

  9. The RandyGuy says

    Address the homeless crisis? Nope. Shore up CalPers? Nyet. Spend more on infrastructure rebuild? No, again. This is what they consider a priority. Parasitic incompetents to the person. Every one.

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