Big changes for overseas hotel travel as the European Union faces new rules

It looks like the days of smuggling tiny toiletries out of hotels will soon be over. At least in Europe.

The European Commission is considering banning the use of miniature shampoo bottles, body lotions and shower gels across the European Union under new packaging and waste rules.

This means that hotels in Europe will soon no longer be able to offer these toiletries to their guests. Instead, hotels must now provide you with a larger bottle that can be reused, or guests must bring their own bathroom products.

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Mini Shampoo Bottles
European hotels could soon be banned from offering mini toiletries in plastic wrappers. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The new ban comes as Europe aims to reduce the waste generated by its citizens each year, with each European currently producing nearly 180 kilograms of packaging waste each year.

”Packaging is one of the main consumers of virgin material, with 40 percent of the plastics used in the EU and 50 percent of the paper used in packaging,” according to a report by the European Commission about the ban states.

“Without action, the EU would see a further increase in packaging waste of 19 percent by 2030, with plastic packaging waste even increasing by 46 percent.”

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According to the report, the new packaging and waste regulations aim to stop the increase in waste by directing consumers to reusable packaging options and removing unnecessary packaging.

The rules also aim to limit over-packaging and ensure there are clear labels on each product to support correct recycling practices.

“They will create new business opportunities for industry, especially for smaller companies, reduce the need for new materials, increase Europe’s recycling capacity and make Europe less dependent on primary resources and external suppliers,” says the report.

“They will put the packaging industry on the path to carbon neutrality by 2050.”

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plastic packaging
Single-use plastics for takeaway food and drink could also change. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s a move that’s part of the European Green Deal’s broader circular economy action plan, which aims to make sustainable products the norm and all packaging recyclable by 2030.

To encourage packaging reuse, companies need to offer consumers a certain amount of their products in reusable packaging, e.g. B. drinks to go, meals or e-commerce deliveries – or larger soap bottles in hotels.

Certain forms of unnecessary packaging will be banned under the proposal, including single-use packaging for food and drinks when consumed in restaurants, and single-use packaging for fruit and vegetables.

Miniature shampoo bottles and other miniature packaging in hotels were also deemed unnecessary.

The proposal is soon to be examined by the European Parliament and the Council before being implemented according to their legislative procedure if adopted.

It does not extend to the United Kingdom as it is no longer in the European Union.

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