California Bans Single-Use Plastic Bottles

SACRAMENTO, CA—California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 1162, which bans single-use plastic bottles used for personal care products and imposes fines for non-compliance.

The bill, set to take effect in 2023, will apply to lodging establishments with more than 50 rooms. Hotels with less than 50 rooms must stop using the tiny bottles by 2024. If a hotel in California does not comply with the ban, its owners and operators could be subject to monetary fines. On the first violation, a written warning will be given along with a $500 fine for each day the lodging establishment is in violation, according to the bill. Any second or subsequent violations would result in a $2,000 fine.

“I am proud to have authored legislation making California the first state in the country to accelerate more sustainable alternatives in the hotel and lodging industry by curbing our plastic consumption,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra. “Single-use products like those tiny plastic bottles commonly provided in hotel rooms represent a sizable amount of waste that can be easily eliminated through more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives.

“We have reached a tipping point for action and more needs to be done that transitions consumers and businesses toward more sustainable alternatives,” he added. “And given our state’s large presence in tourism, this will be a model for the nation.”

The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) issued a statement in support of the measure. “As long-time advocates of environmental stewardship, CHLA applauds Gov. Newsom and Assemblymember Kalra for working with California hotels to make AB 1162 good for our environment and for our industry,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, president/CEO, CHLA. “We especially appreciate Assemblymember Kalra’s recognition of the many innovative steps hotels have taken to make a more sustainable future.”

The new law comes as hotel companies have made great strides to reduce their environmental impact. For example, Marriott has its own ban of single-use plastics, while a number of brands have eliminated plastic straws.