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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: November 25, 2019 09:46 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman and Rep. Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Small Plastic Bottles in Lodging Establishments
The world produces about 300 tons of plastic per year and only nine percent is being recycled. One reason is because decades-old recycling facilities were not designed to process certain types of plastic products, such as anything smaller than three inches—like travel-sized toiletry bottles. As such, these plastics are ending up in landfills or waterways and breaking down over time into microplastics that have been found to pollute our soil, water and even our own bodies.

As a result, consumers are taking steps at home to reduce their own plastic waste while using their wallets to demand industries also do better for the environment—and the hospitality industry has taken notice. In fact, many hotel brands are leading the way in ecotourism by no longer offering single-use toiletries in their guest rooms, but rather bulk dispensers for personal care items—a move that is not only good for the environment and public health, but businesses’ bottom lines, as well.

That is why we are introducing legislation that will prohibit lodging establishments from offering their guests personal care items in small plastic bottles. Our legislation is based on a recently enacted California law that is supported by major hotel brands in that state. It is estimated the law will reduce plastic waste by 113,000 pounds annually and save the hospitality industry money by encouraging them to purchase bulk personal care items for their guests.

As Pennsylvania and other states face extreme challenges in recycling small plastic materials, it is crucial to promote practical proposals that can improve public health while positively impacting the economy. We encourage you to join us in supporting this measure by cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2137