Hyatt Hotels announced Monday that it will stop automatically serving plastic straws and drink picks to customers on Sept. 1. Beginning this fall, the company's hotels will only use eco-friendly alternatives to straws and picks, where available, and single-use plastic will only be provided upon request.
Hyatt Hotels includes approximately 700 properties in more than 50 countries, and the company plans to phase plastic straws out of all of these hotels. The move is the latest in the company’s push for sustainability.
In 2014, Hyatt launched the Environmental Sustainability Vision which aimed to divert more than 40% of its waste away from landfills, source more than 50% of its global seafood responsibly, and reduce water usage, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas production by 25% by 2020.
So far, according to the company, 17% of its hotels have exceeded the 40% diversion rate and 21% of seafood serve at Hyatt hotels is now responsibly sourced. Hyatt hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia have reduced their water consumption by 27%. In all regions, hotels reduced greenhouse gasses by more than 25%.
“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,” Senior Vice President of Global Operations Frank Lavey said in a statement. “This is a meaningful step, and our commitment doesn’t stop with straws and drink picks.”
Banning the use of plastic straws is a simple first step to reducing single-use plastic. The impact of Starbucks’ ban alone will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year.
Still, that’s a drop in the bucket when compared to the 183 billion straws the US uses annually.