HARRISBURG, PA — State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, this week introduced new legislation to ban small plastic bottles in lodging establishments.
To prevent significant plastic waste, this bill would prohibit the entities from offering guests personal care items in small plastic bottles. Businesses would also save money by opting for bulk dispensers for personal care items.
The world produces about 300 tons of plastic per year and only recycles 9 percent. Nearly 150 tons of this plastic is for single-use items. It then ends up in landfills and waterways and over time breaks down into microplastics that have been found to pollute our soil, water, and even our own bodies.
“Across our commonwealth and our country, we face significant challenges in recycling plastic materials,” said Shusterman. “It is crucial for us to find ways to cut down on our usage, and I believe that simple, money-saving solutions like these can help make a substantial impact. Consumers and businesses alike can benefit from reducing single-use plastics and establishing more sustainable standards for travel and lodging.”
Many hotel brands are leading the way in ecotourism by no longer offering single-use toiletries in their guest rooms. Shusterman said that not only is this move good for the environment, but it also will save businesses money.
State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, chair of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, agreed.
“As industries adopt new policies and means of operation to become more eco-friendly, the tourism industry in Pennsylvania should do the same,” said Daley, D-Montgomery. “The replacement of small plastic bottles with larger reusable containers would help the business’s bottom line and move hotel and lodging establishments into a greener age of tourism.”
This legislation is based on a recently enacted California law that is supported by major hotel brands in that state.
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