The list of the companies committing to eliminate (or at least dramatically reduce) the number of plastic straws given to guests continues to get longer. I have tried to post each announcement. Here is a list of the companies I have so far: MGM Resorts International, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Delaware North, Meliá Hotels International, Iberostar Group, The Travel Corp., Scandic Hotels, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Sudima Hotels & Resorts, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, The Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, and The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. Do a search on “straw” on Green Lodging News to find the various articles.
The latest company to make an announcement, MGM Resorts International, aims to eventually remove more than 250,000 straws a day from landfills and waterways—that’s 100 million straws each year.
“MGM is one of the largest multi-concept restaurant operators in the world,” said Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, MGM Resorts International. “As such, it is our responsibility to do our part to help eliminate debris from landfills and waterways. The elimination of plastic straws is the latest addition to MGM’s comprehensive environmental responsibility program and can further enhance our efforts to protect our planet.”
Straws are one of the most common littered items in the United States, and single-use plastic straws contribute to the rubbish floating in our oceans, severely affecting wildlife. Eight million metric tons of plastic winds up in the oceans each year, and in 2017 plastic straws were the 11th most found ocean trash. One plastic drinking straw can take up to 200 years to break down in the environment.
Both single use plastic “stir straws” and drinking straws have been removed from casino floors, buffets, cafes, bars and lounges as well as dining outlets at MGM properties. Straws will still be available to customers upon request.