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Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa ends use of plastic straws

By Staff | Sep 14, 2017

The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is the first resort in Hawaii to completely eliminate single-use plastic straws in favor of a marine-friendly alternative.

KAANAPALI – Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is saying no to single-use plastic straws in an effort to enhance environmentally sustainable practices and to protect Hawaii’s tropical marine ecosystem, including the endangered honu (green sea turtle).

The resort is the first in the Hawaiian Islands to completely eliminate single-use plastic straws in favor of a marine-friendly alternative.

According to Surfrider Foundation, approximately 500 million plastic drinking straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone, and 175 billion straws are used in a year. The foundation also noted that marine life, including honu, can be harmed by ingesting plastic straws and other broken down plastics that pollute the ocean and waterways.

Lonely Whale Foundation asserts that an estimated 30 percent of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs, and when they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50 percent mortality rate.

Sheraton Maui is implementing paper straws as an environmentally conscious solution at its multiple dining establishments, luau, banquets and events. Paper straws will be provided in keiki beverages and blended tropical drinks, with other beverages being served without straws unless a paper straw is requested.

“Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock), fronting the resort, is one of the top destinations on Maui to see tropical marine life in their natural habitat, including the beloved honu. Implementing usage of paper straws over single-use plastics is one of the many initiatives we have at a property level centered on corporate social responsibility, protecting the ‘aina, or land, and honoring our resort’s special location in Kaanapali,” said Sheraton Maui General Manager Tetsuji Yamazaki.

The resort’s sustainability efforts are multi-faceted. Beyond core energy efficiency and water conservation initiatives are a handful of important recycling efforts that protect the natural environment and give back to the community.

From the guest rooms, all of the HI-5 and non-HI-5 recyclable items are sorted each day and picked up for recycling. Partially used bath amenities are donated to social welfare organizations, and old pillows and blankets are donated to Maui Humane Society and Salvation Army instead of being thrown away.

The resort recycles more than ten tons of cardboard and paper per month, and more than 15 tons per month of landscape waste from continual upkeep of the resort’s 23 acres is picked up and recycled into mulch.

Food waste from the resort’s food and beverage outlets is donated to a local food waste service program.

The culmination of these efforts yields big results.

“We strongly believe that care for one another begins with taking care of our surroundings, and our continued sustainability efforts are just one of the many ways we strive to provide the highest standard of care and comfort for visitors and guests at our resort,” said Yamazaki.