Why are hotels throughout the world suddenly ditching plastic straws?

by | May 31, 2018 | General News, News

Gradually, straws are disappearing from hotel drinks.

As the hospitality industry works to become more environmentally friendly, experts see progress to be made in the area of plastics

Recently, there has been a massive shift in the global hospitality industry, a massive shift that centers around one small object: plastic straws.

Yes, throughout the world many hotels have suddenly started to ditch using plastic straws and stirring sticks in their bars and restaurants. In fact, reports show that companies of all different sizes have started to make this move. Hilton recently announced that it would remove plastic straws from all 650 of its managed properties by the end of this calendar year. While smaller companies like Scandic Hotels have also announced that they will stop using plastic straws and cocktail sticks in all of their hotels.

As this trend continues to spread rapidly, the question next becomes why are these hotel companies doing this? And the answer is a somewhat simple one: it’s the best move to make for the environment.

The Environmental Impact of Plastic Straws

There is no denying that the environmental impact of plastic straws is a sizeable one. In the United Kingdom, which boasts one of the most robust hospitality markets in all of Europe, estimates show that the country uses 8.5 billion plastic straws each year.

Straws are also said to be among the top 10 waste items found on beaches, and scientists report that the small objects can take up to 200 years to decompose.

In the hospitality industry, meanwhile, consumers have begun to expect hotel companies to be making progress toward sustainability. With these two factors in mind, it then becomes quite easy to see why hospitality companies throughout the planet have begun to ditch plastic straw usage.

A Plastic Straw Replacement

What, then, has come to replace plastic straws in hotel bars and restaurants?

For one United Kingdom hospitality company, Smart Hospitality Supplies to be exact, the answer is actually paper straws as well as plastic straws with multiple uses. That, however, is just one solution. The Deltic Group, which is the United Kingdom’s lead operator of bars and nightclubs, has recently proposed that it will distribute guidelines to its employees and staff that will ensure that current straws and plastics begin to be recycled properly, while also looking into other sustainable options.

Long Term Outlook

If enough hotels find ways to stop using plastic straws, these moves could add up to a pretty sizable impact on the environment.

Plastic waste is universally agreed upon to be among one of the biggest ongoing environmental challenges. Various organizations around the world have estimated that there are more than 150 million tons of plastic in the world’s oceans right now, and that every year about one million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.

By removing plastic straws, cocktail sticks, and plastic coffee mug lids from operations, hotel companies are hoping that they can help with ongoing environmental efforts to reduce these numbers.

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