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The Hawaii State Legislature is looking at a bill that would ban single-use plastic toiletries in hotels and encourage properties to provide bulk dispensers for amenities such as shampoo, conditioner and soap.
Larger hotel chains can go through hundreds of millions of these small, usually plastic toiletries per year.
“As a notable tourism destination here in Hawaii, we also really have an opportunity to kind of put our money where our mouth is when we talk about how important the environment is and how Hawaii wants to engage and more sustainable tourism,” Rep. Nicole Lowen (D) chair of the House Energy & Environmental Protection committee said.
The industry is already beginning to shift to these more sustainable options due to company environmental policies, and the lodging industry seems supportive.
“Certainly, the spirit of this particular bill or series of legislative measures is something that we don’t really have an issue with,” Hawaii Tourism and Lodging Association President and CEO Mufi Hannemann said. “It’s all about timing. It’s all about making sure that there’s an understanding of the fact that every hotel chain every hotel brand is different.”
Landfills in Hawaii are filling up, and the government is looking for ways to fix the problem. According to one study, more 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic are used by one sort of general 200-room, four-star hotel every month, noted the Surfrider Foundation Hawaii.
The bill would prohibit hotels with 50 or more beds from handing out personal care products in small plastic bottles in 2024 and 2025 for lodging with fewer than 50 beds.