Disney fans vs. TSA

The Transportation Security Administration has had a change of heart after telling travelers that they could not fly with soft drink bottles shaped like the thermal detonators featured in “Star Wars.” The novelty items are fine to bring along, it said, whether you’re traveling near or far, far away. The spherical bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite are available for purchase at “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” newly opened sections of the theme parks at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. The TSA originally told a traveler that the bottles could not fly because “replica and inert explosives aren’t allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.” That response earned a fair amount of ridicule online. The agency initially doubled down, but later reversed course. Passengers will be able to pack the bottles in checked baggage or empty the containers and carry them aboard planes, it said. The agency reserves the right to alter the deal further. “TSA officers will maintain the discretion to prohibit any item through the screening checkpoint if they believe it poses a security threat,” it said.

New York Times

More hotels dump bottles

The next time you check into a hotel, you may not be coming home stocked up with tiny shampoo and lotion bottles. Marriott International, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, announced plans to eliminate single-use bottles of shampoo and other liquids from most of its hotels worldwide by December 2020. Guests will instead get such bathroom necessities from large, pump-topped bottles that, in most cases, are fastened to bathroom walls. Intercontinental Hotel Group made a similar pledge in July, promising to switch out the tiny bottles for larger pump-topped bottles in all of the company’s more than 5,600 hotels worldwide by 2021.

Los Angeles Times

Crowning travel initiative

The eco-minded Prince Harry is embarking on a massive travel sustainability initiative in partnership with key travel providers. They aim to improve the practices of the global industry amid an ever-increasing number of travelers. The duke of Sussex picked Amsterdam, a city hit hard by over-tourism, to announce Travalyst at a news conference Tuesday with his partners, Booking.com; TripAdvisor; Visa; China’s largest travel company, Ctrip; and the Ctrip-owned fare aggregator Skyscanner. The long-term initiative is focused on tackling the travel industry’s effect on climate change, improving wildlife conservation and protecting the environment in top tourist spots around the world. It aims to increase the amount of tourism dollars that go to local communities and find answers to over-tourism.

Associated Press

Sunscreen in Virgin Islands

Beginning Jan. 1, travelers heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands may want to rethink what type of sunscreen they pack. The territory recently outlawed sunscreens with ingredients believed to harm coral reefs and other marine life. It’s not the first such law — Hawaii and Key West, Fla., have passed similar measures — but it may be the first American entity to enforce such a ban. In June, lawmakers passed the ban that prohibits stores from stocking some types of popular sunscreens after Sept. 30, and locals and visitors from using or possessing them on Jan. 1 in an effort to protect its beaches and coral reefs. The move doesn’t mean visitors will be forced to risk sun exposure. Only products that contain the UV-blocking chemicals oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene will be prohibited. Travelers instead may use reef-safe sunscreens made with minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Los Angeles Times