The Last Straw

Hyatt Hotels Declare Policy to End Single-Use Plastic Straws

Fortune Magazine reports that on Monday, July 9, 2018, Hyatt Hotels worldwide have declared their intent to do away with single-use plastic, such as drinking straws and drink picks. Commencing in September 2018, such plastic items will only be available on request and in certain locations will be replaced entirely with sustainable options.

Frank Lavey, senior vice president of global operations for Hyatt, said, “Eliminating plastic straws and drink picks builds on the environmental sustainability programs we have in place and further drives our global efforts to reduce environmental impact. This is a meaningful step, and our commitment doesn’t stop with straws and drink picks.”

The decision forms a part of Hyatt’s 2020 Environmental Sustainability Vision announced in 2014 to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and water usage, waste away, and buying sustainable products like fish.

Internationally, the elimination of plastic straws has become a rallying point for environmental activists. In the United States alone, an estimated 500 million plastic straws are used, many of which end up strewn along beaches where plastic straws are among the top five trash items collected in beach clean ups. Other USA companies, including Alaska Airlines, are phasing out the use of plastic straws, with some municipalities legislating against their use.

Meanwhile, McDonalds in the United Kingdom is only offering plastic straws “on requests” after the restaurant’s shareholders voted to rejects a company-wide ban on plastic straws in order to safeguard profits over environmental protection.

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