Bulk toiletry dispensers at hotels are catching on fast. But would you use them?
Yesterday I posted a review of the beautiful new Andaz Munich, a five-star property. But despite its luxury status, toiletries in both the sink and shower were in bulk containers. This upends decades of conventional practice.
And yet bulk containers are catching on. They’ve been present at budget hotels across Asia and Europe for years, but are now appearing in the United States as well. And in California, mini toiletries may soon be prohibited under state law. The proposed bill, AB-1162, is working its way through the legislature and would ban mini-toiletries effective January 01, 2023.
These are the sorts of bans that many hotels likely won’t protest. Think about it, they can claim to be responsible stewards of the environment while cutting expenses. It’s a win-win for environmentalists and hotels.
But is it sanitary?
In theory, of course. But I only have to think back a few years to my university days to remember some of the practical jokes that are played with communal bottles shampoo or soap…
I think we humans tend to be paranoid over unnecessary things and oblivious to far graver risks than contaminated soap dispensers. Thus, I’m perfectly willing to stipulate that there are far better things to be worried about.
But I don’t want to even question if someone added any extra ingredients to my soap, conditioner, or shampoo. And I’m willing to pay more (say, a carbon offset tax) for that luxury. More importantly, hotels should have the chance to pay more for single-use containers rather than just a blanket ban. That way, budget hotels will move toward bulk containers while luxury hotels will still offer single-use toiletries.
Moving to bulk dispensers may even backfire on hotels. Imagine if people (you know these people) start loading up on full containers from maid carts instead of individual bottles. You know it will happen…
What are your thoughts on bulk toiletry dispensers at hotels?