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Posted by
1211 posts

I hope its true! Our city is voting to ban single use plastic like take-out containers and straws. I hope it passes. Theres nothing about plastic that cant be replicated with better material. Stepping off my soapbox now

Posted by
8889 posts

Premier Inns in the UK have shower gel dispensers mounted on the wall in the showers, the type you squeeze and it comes out the bottom. Not very "up market" (Premier Inns is decidedly not up market), but I can see it avoids waste, as well as the plastic bottle issue.

Next they need to get rid of the little plastic portions of butter at breakfast, and go back to sold lumps or twirls.

Posted by
22018 posts

In my budget-hotel world, soap and shampoo dispensers are very common in Europe.

Posted by
3789 posts

There has been a shift to wall dispensers for a number of hotels. Americans seem to be the most germphobic people I have met - no offense meant - so it might be a harder sell. I sure hope the do get rid of these. Such a waste.
Better keep the ones you have around the house or next find, take them home and refill for future packing ....or go to no packaging solid versions.

Posted by
7169 posts

Liquid soaps like the kind in shower dispensers, are usually synthetic and therefore less likely to leave residue and scum on showers. So there is another reason they are more popular in establishments - lower maintenance.

Posted by
7205 posts

Good for them. I’ve been using gel dispensers in Europe for several years now, and even though it’ll take some adjustments by Americans I have faith we can do it with as little of gnashing teeth as possible...

C’mon USA, if The rest of the world can do it so can we!

Posted by
1179 posts

Why would anyone object apart from the plastic polluters?

Some people like to collect them to give to the homeless.

Posted by
9026 posts

Why would anyone object apart from the plastic polluters?

It's called recycling.

I don't mind dispensers for shampoo, but prefer a bar soap to wash with. I've been to quite a few hotels that that combine the shampoo and liquid soap into one lackluster substance, and I won't wash my body with it. So I always bring my Dove soap with me in my travels.

Posted by
6302 posts

I have noticed that the Holiday Inn Express locations are switching over to dispensers in the shower/bath as opposed to the little bottles. At first though, I wasn't sure what your concern was, whether you relied on them to have shampoo for you...or you rely on picking up the little bottles in the states, to have when you travel Europe. I less often see toiletries provided in Europe and always bring my own. And yes, I grab the bottle when I leave a hotel in the states for use later.

Posted by
1179 posts

Seriously? That's an argument to keep this wasteful plastic?

Dude, you asked I answered. Don’t shoot the messenger.

And based on my own experience working with the homeless those people also give resources, vote for housing, work with rehab, etc. Its not some sort of binary either/or.

Posted by
1058 posts

Anyone who lives near the ocean know what it is like to see all the plastic on the beach. When California started charging 10 cents for every plastic bag, a lot of people were unhappy. Now everyone has canvas bags in their car for groceries and it is actually much easier to load and carry the canvas bags. I would never go back to plastic bags. When you go out for dinner now, most every restaurant asks if you want a straw. Every little bit helps. I hope conservation catches on everywhere.

Posted by
1220 posts

As someone with long hair who tends to use a lot of shampoo and conditioner, I actually like the dispensers because it's easier to get an adequate amount of product from them. I'm no fan of the Universal Human Scrub you get in some European budget chains but there is some good stuff in use in the dispensers like Tru by Hilton's lemony stuff that we liked well enough to track for home use.

https://notsoapradio.com/collections/hair-body-care

This subject has me thinking. Often, I buy my own "tiny" bottles of what I need to pack for my 3-1-1 bag. Then, I just dispose of them as I go along my trip. So, whether the hotel provides the "tiny" bottles or I carry my own - it's still the same number of tiny bottles being tossed out. There goes my 3-1-1 kit.

Posted by
6302 posts

I suppose as an alternative to the little bottles and cluttering your 3-1-1 Bag, you could just wait until you arrive and pop into a store and get a smallish bottle that would last the trip and beyond, if you check bags on the way back, take it with you, if you use it, no difference.

Posted by
1179 posts

I usually go for solids in snack size ziplocks where possible. I just continue to refill as needed so no throwing out. The same for my tiny bottles. Clean and refill on returning home. If I can carry it over I can carry it back.

Posted by
10344 posts

This is why it's good to be bald--you don't have to even think about shampoos.

Posted by
4962 posts

Well, I’m a lone person who really enjoys those little bottles! I bring home the ones that have a hotel name, plus any that are associated with a special memory, I.e. Venice, St. Wolfgang, Stresa, etc. Several of the bottles are displayed on the window sills surrounding our bathtub, and it’s relaxing to relive sweet memories of those locations just by glancing at the bottle.

And a word about sharing with the homeless: people who actively donate to causes tend to also hunt for additional ways to help. When I would teach 2-week engineering classes for my company at hotels, I would tell the class that I placed a gift bag in our conference room to leave any shampoo, lotion, etc. they didn’t use that we could give to the local homeless shelter. By the end of the two weeks, there would be a full bag which was much appreciated by the shelter to distribute.

Posted by
8650 posts

Great news california wants to ban them!
Hope we’re successful.
There’s also talk of banning plastic produce bags. Yay.

Posted by
4962 posts

Cindy H, do you like the solid shampoo & conditioner and have a brand you recommend? I’ve heard mixed reviews for some of them.

Posted by
4962 posts

Susan, I’ll know they’re really serious when they also include banning disposable baby diapers!

I don't really see how large shampoo bottles are environmentally any better than tiny bottles. Sure - lasts longer, but also made from more plastic. They still get tossed out.
I do agree that a reusable water bottle - filled with tap water - cuts down on plastic waste.
If I am getting a reusable bottle - I need one with a wide"mouth" for ease of cleaning.

Posted by
1179 posts

Cindy H, do you like the solid shampoo & conditioner and have a brand you recommend? I’ve heard mixed reviews for some of them.

I’ve tried several solid shampoo bars. Some worked, others left my hair weird, and others have caused allergic reactions. Right now I’m using Lush Karma Komba. I’ve also had decent luck with Chagrin Valley Honey Beer and Egg bar. I’ve also been happy with Liggets. This is something you have to test out because everyone has different hair. Chagrin Valley has “sample size” bars that are just right for travel.

For conditioning I use Lush Jungle conditioner. A bit strong smelling but my hair likes it.

For moisturizer I use Honey House Naturals Bee Bar (small size).

I carry all my toiletries because of my allergies. I don’t want to have an allergic reaction in a foreign country if at all possible.

BTW, I cut full size bars into halves or quarters to make them travel size. I store my shampoos and conditioners in snack size zip locks. I have punctured the zip locks several times with scissors and also cut the corners off so that water doesn’t get trapped.

Posted by
8302 posts

Great idea, plus it will save the hotels a ton of money.
One thing I notice is how many people have mentioned that they will bring a bar of soap for example and have it in a ziploc plastic bag. This is trading one piece of plastic for another piece of plastic that will also get thrown away. At least the bottles you can refill. The bags are not often re-used I am guessing?
Maybe look at soap boxes or tins for your bar of soap?

Why can't the manufacturers make aluminum tubes of shampoo, soap or conditioner? Similar to old style toothpaste tubes.

Posted by
1179 posts

This is trading one piece of plastic for another piece of plastic that will also get thrown away.

No. This statement is simply not true. I rinse out the ziplock and use it over and over again. And it is way lighter and less bulky than a soap box.

I don’t get this use it once and throw it out mentality. Am I the only one that rinses out my itty bitty bottles and reuses them?

Posted by
1277 posts

Jean, I use liggett bar shampoo to travel and am happy with it. I purchased the E Z pouch which allows it to dry without needing a plastic bag. There is a strap that wraps around the bar shampoo. After you use the bar for a few days there is room between strap and pouch for a standard bar of hotel soap

Posted by
15 posts

Good move. These things are a waste.

I travel with 3 small 3 oz refillable Nalgene bottles or tubes in which I bring shampoo, conditioner and face scrub. Can usually get about 10 days of use out of these and I like using the brands I'm used to at home. For a shorter trip to save weight bring them only half full.

Posted by
3789 posts

I have also replaced as many liquids as I can with solid options. Like Cindy H, allergies mean I travel with what I know I can use. Whether home or travel, I always wash out or reuse ziplock bags. My solid shampoo is round bars so tins are the usual carry option. My one negative criticism is the space they take, but they allow the bar to dry well so I keep with it.

Posted by
156 posts

I think it's a good move, and in fact have seen several hotel chains in the US convert to dispensers. I prefer a bar of soap for showering and usually take a small one with me, and my liquids always go into travel sized bottles and are refilled. We really need to take plastic pollution seriously, and eliminating these bottles is a good idea.

Posted by
4962 posts

Thanks, Cindy H, for the suggestions for shampoo bars. I ordered some of the Chagrin Valley sample sizes to try various ones, and I really like their Carrot & Honey bar! A environmental & time benefit is that I'm in & out of the shower faster since I don't have to apply & rinse a hair conditioner, also.

Posted by
4535 posts

Some times I use my own, sometimes I use the little bottles they provide. I don't lose any sleep over it. And geez, the shampoos et al all come in big plastic bottles.

I also like plastic bags at the grocery store. I have a cat and use them for the litter. Dog people can use them for cleaning up after their dogs (you DO clean up after your dog right?). But I do otherwise support reducing plastic bag usage and often don't take a bag if I don't need it.

Posted by
3493 posts

This is trading one piece of plastic for another

If you throw the plastic bag away every trip, then yes. In my case, I have used the same zip lock bag for my bar soap (which is also enclosed in a hard soap carrier) for over 10 years. Same for the zip lock bags I keep my passport in while it is in my money belt, the zip lock bag I use to carry spare currency in my money belt, and so on. Unfortunately, these will all go into the trash somewhere when they wear out and the zip no longer works. Maybe there will be something better when that point in time arrives.

Posted by
492 posts

I'm happy to see this, and it does make more sense.

Some newer chains in the US are catching on to the value - whether environmental, practical, cost, or all of the above - with the wall mounted dispensers. I know the Aloft hotels and Element hotels I've stayed at here in the US have them, and they make a lot more sense. Sure, I admit that when staying at a nice hotel with nice little shampoo and conditioner bottles and soap bars, I'll often take em home with me and place them in my guest bathroom for house guests to use, but I'm willing to sacrifice on that :)

I've also stayed at some hotels in the US that have ditched plastic water bottles in rooms - instead, they have nice large glass bottles in the room, and a purified water dispenser on each floor. So if you want some cold drinking water (or even hot water for tea), you can just use the glass bottle and not generate any plastic waste.

Ditching the plastic bags in CA was the way to go as well, I think. I live in NV, and you don't even have to visit the landfill to see the cost of them - fences, trees, and bushes with plastic bags in them, open lots littered with them, bunches of them along the banks of the river. The canvas and cloth bags are just better - larger, fit more groceries in them, easier to carry, far less likely to tear or break, and can be used for a host of things. I've been happily using them for years, despite not being required to because they're simply better!

Posted by
3405 posts

I have learned something from this thread. I often have taken the soaps from hotel rooms for my home guest room or for travel, because I prefer bars to liquid or gel. I’ve been feeling bad about it, because I assumed the housekeepers took home the soap. Now I find out those soaps create more pollution. I’ll take them in the future, with a clear conscience.
@Jean: My daughter found biodegrable disposable diapers, probably more expensive than the others, but worth it to her. Some years ago, I read an article comparing the environmental impact of cloth vs disposable diapers. It’s not as clear as you might think. The laundering of cloth diapers pours phosphates, from detergents, and bleach into sewer systems. They also use energy to operate washers and dryers.
Btw, California, and the Bay Area in particular, has taken a lot of heat for being in the vanguard on issues of environmental protection. I’m proud to say that my town was one of the first in the country to ban smoking in public buildings and to control the use of plastic bags by retailers. We also had recycling centers and, later, curbside recycling long before many other places did.

Posted by
3425 posts

When you use the cloth grocery bags you need to be sure to wash them on a regular basis-they have been shown to harbor many germs.