ORLANDO, FLA.—In conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup Day, Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company, announced it would eliminate plastic straws and other single-use plastic from food and beverage operations at its timeshare resorts around the world.
To support the company’s environmental sustainability initiatives, Wyndham Destinations’ vacation club resorts plan to remove single-use plastic straws starting October 1, 2019. The effort will eliminate more than 750,000 single-use plastic straws in North America alone and 1.1 million across the globe. Earlier this year, the company’s Asia Pacific resorts removed disposable straws from 33 managed resorts.
“The switch to biodegradable or paper straws is a small, but impactful change we can make for our environment, and aligns with our company’s efforts to support sustainable tourism,” said Geoff Richards, COO of Wyndham Vacation Clubs. “By engaging and empowering both our associates and customers to understand sustainability-based best practices, we are cultivating a culture which prioritizes minimizing our environmental footprint and raising the health of our people and our communities.”
Single-use plastic straws, which are generally only used for about 15 minutes, never fully decompose and are one of the top 10 items found on beach cleanups globally.
Plastic Cups & Lids & More
The company also announced it has developed a plan to eliminate plastic cups and lids, Styrofoam to-go boxes, plastic cutlery, and plastic to-go bags across the company’s managed resort locations. This initiative will eliminate more than 4.8 million single-use products by the end of 2020.
On Saturday, September 21, the company hosted organized cleanup opportunities at many of its resorts in coastal communities around the world for employees and resort guests to help remove plastic and other trash from important waterways.
This year, the company produced its first Social Responsibility Report, including an environmental sustainability policy which affirms Wyndham Destinations’ commitment to reduce the environmental impacts associated with its operations and supply chain. As a new company, Wyndham Destinations is building on the sustainability efforts undertaken while it was a part of Wyndham Worldwide and is seeking to measurably reduce its energy, emissions, water, and waste footprint.
For example, many of the company’s managed vacation club resorts are enrolled in a national program that includes enhanced education, reporting for recycling, and landfill diversion. This program resulted in an average landfill diversion rate of 32 percent.