Sandals Resorts International is the latest organization to announce an initiative to abolish single-use plastic straws and stirrers. The hospitality company says that all 19 Sandals and Beaches Resorts, across seven Caribbean islands, will eliminate more than 21 million straws used at the resorts each year. More eco-friendly, paper straws will be available upon request.
The company says the initiative will be completed by November 1 of this year.
The initiative, via a partnership with Oceanic Global, also includes a company-wide audit to determine a roadmap for eliminating all single-use plastic. Following the ousting of plastic straws and stirrers, the resort will explore opportunities to eliminate other plastic across its resorts by September 2019. The company has already made headway with the elimination of plastic laundry bags and plastic bags throughout gift shops, Sandals says.
Heidi Clarke, executive director of the company’s philanthropic arm the Sandals Foundation, says plastic pollution is one of the leading environmental issues in the Caribbean.
The Oceanic Institute focuses on “weaving educational messaging into existing interest areas” like the arts, fashion, technology and more, to “encourage individuals to consider their own consumption behavior, while also providing them with sustainable alternatives that suit their daily lives.” Working with collaborators, partners, supporters, businesses, institutions, organizations, and public officials, the group aims to implement industry-specific solutions for change.