Save Shamu, ban shampoo: Long Island senator teams up with NY hotel industry to do away with environmentally hazardous miniature toiletry bottles

Dave Goldiner for New York Daily News

Originally published in New York Daily News

When it comes to protecting the environment, New York hotels are going to be head and shoulders above the rest if state lawmakers get their way.

Lodges would be banned from providing mini plastic bottles of toiletries under a proposed law unveiled Wednesday, potentially preventing an estimated 27 million of those little squeeze bottles of shampoo and lotion from littering the earth every year.

“Little everyday actions, like eliminating small plastic bottles, will have a positive impact on our environment," said Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island), who announced the bill at a Wednesday news conference at the W Hotel in Manhattan. "By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our environment, and mitigating plastic waste and waterway pollution.”

The tiny bottles handed out in hotels have turned up in the stomachs of whales as far away as Indonesia.

The bill would bar “hotels from making available to its hotel guests small plastic bottles containing personal care products.” Supporters envision wall dispensers to replace the little throwaway containers.

“Let’s stop being a disposable society!" said Julie Tighe of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

The ban has the support of hotel industry groups, many of which are seeking ways to improve their environmental reputations amid widespread waste.

The Marriott hotel chain recently announced it would eliminate the tiny bottles at its properties worldwide.

Many hotels already encourage guests to not insist on fresh towels every day in an effort to reduce pollution from laundry services.

New York City alone has 115,530 rooms in over 630 hotels and millions of annual annual visitors.