SEOUL, Jul. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Marriott International said Friday the company will remove disposable plastic straws and plastic stirrers from its more than 6,500 properties by July next year, joining global efforts to reduce plastic pollution.
The announcement came less than two weeks after Starbucks Coffee Co. vowed to eliminate single-use plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020.
“Removing plastic straws is one of the simplest ways our guests can contribute to plastic reduction when staying with us — something they are increasingly concerned about and are already doing in their own homes,” Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, said in a statement.
“We are committed to operating responsibly and — with over 1 million guests staying with us every night — we think this is a powerful step forward to reducing our reliance on plastics,” Sorenson added.
Marriott International said it expects the initiative to reduce the use of more than 1 billion plastic straws annually once fully implemented. As part of the plan, hotels will offer alternative straws upon request, it said.
In line with the move, the hotel giant is also trying to eliminate plastic straws from its corporate headquarters.
In June, the U.N. Environment warned plastic waste causes a plethora of problems when it leaks into the environment.
Plastic — when discarded in landfills or in the environment — can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, according to the U.N. environmental agency.