Mini-toiletries could soon be checking out of hotel and guest rooms across the state of New York as authorities seek to introduce a state-wide ban.

Mini shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles in minimalist packaging
New York proposes a blanket ban on mini-toiletries in hotels and guest rooms ©Getty

New York senator Todd Kaminsky has proposed a new bill to ban single-use plastics for hotel personal care products in favour of wall-mounted dispensers that can be refilled, multi-use bottles, or toiletries contained in materials that can be recycled. The bill, which would potentially prevent an estimated 27 million little bottles of shampoos and gels littering the planet each year, is being backed by the Hotels Association of New York City and the state Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Young woman in bathrobe squeezes a mini bottle of cleansing gel onto a cotton pad
Mini-toiletries will be replaced by personal care products in more sustainable packaging ©Getty

In a statement announcing the bill, Kaminsky, who is also chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, said: "little everyday actions, like eliminating small plastic bottles, will have a positive impact on our environment. By barring hotels from giving single-use plastic toiletries to customers, we are safeguarding our environment, and mitigating plastic waste and waterway pollution."

Two mini plastic bottles of clear liquid lined up beside towels and a flower
This scene is set to disappear from hotels across the world ©Getty

Earlier this year, California lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate single-use plastics in the hotel industry by 2023. Hotel chains like Marriott International (the world's largest) followed suit by announcing it will bid adieu to mini-toiletries by the end of 2020 and IHG, which owns Holiday Inn, Kimpton and others, announced that it would eliminate about 200 million of the teensy, squeezable bottles by the end of 2021.

Kaminsky's proposals would require hotels and resorts with more than 50 rooms to phase out single-use plastic bottles by 2023, and B&Bs, guest houses and holiday apartments would be required to do so by 2024. According to the senator, New York alone sends 89 tons of waste to landfills each year so while his move to make hotels less disposable is bad news for guests who love to stash posh shampoo in their bags for a take-home treat, it's good news for the planet. Or a start, at least.

Explore related stories



10 of the best car-free places to visit in the USA this summer

May 7, 2024 • 7 min read