How Plastic Bans will Affect Your Hotel Operations, Bottom Line

Single-use bans are making their way through the country. Dispensed amenity fixtures offer a simple solution.

How Plastic Bans will Affect Your Hotel Operations, Bottom Line

California is leading the charge in sustainability law efforts. In 2014, it became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. In 2019, the state announced it would do away with travel-sized amenities in hotel rooms in an effort to reduce the number of plastic containers being thrown away by guests.

The bill, known as AB 1162, is set to take effect in 2023 and will apply to lodging establishments with more than 50 rooms. Hotels with less than 50 rooms must stop using the tiny bottles by 2024.

Failure to adhere to the ban could open owners and operators up to fines. The first offense comes with a written warning and a $500 fine for each day the lodging establishment is in violation. Any subsequent violations result in a $2,000 fine.

Smart hotel companies know that now is the time to begin implementing changes. And it’s not just because fines are on the horizon, but many eco-conscious guests are already looking at your sustainability efforts. Today’s travelers are becoming increasingly conscious of issues of environmental responsibility and sustainability. For instance, in MMGY’s Portrait of the American Traveler, 60% of those who are loyal to a hotel brand say that the brand’s corporate responsibility is a factor in their loyalty.

What’s more, most hotels can save 30% to 70% by switching from individual bottled bathroom amenities to dispensed amenities, according to Ray Burger, founder of Pineapple Hospitality. On top of the cost saving, guests have grown to prefer the sleek design that amenity dispensers offer, thereby improving guest satisfaction.

If that’s not enough to sway you, consider how the giants are tackling the issue. Marriott International and IHG (Holiday Inn, Kimpton) have already committed to their own plastic-conserving initiatives. By December 2020, Marriott will require most of the 7,000+ hotels in its portfolio to make the switch to dispensed amenities. By 2021, IHG will require its 5,600+ hotels to do the same.

The big players are making waves in the industry as the effects of climate change continue to take center stage in the media. In this case, it will pay to play follow the leader.

Next Steps

You can also bet that more legislation is on the horizon, too. In fact, New York is circulating a bill through the Senate—Bill S5282A—which will prohibit hotels from making available to its guests small plastic bottles containing personal care products.

California and New York are the two largest hotel markets in the United States by room volume, and they set the stage for other states. The faster you get ahead of this trend, the more control you will have in the issue. Not only will your guests and bottom line thank you, but so will the planet.

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