Anantara, AVANI end plastic drinking straw use

Anantara and AVANI Hotels and Resorts have announced the decision to end the use of plastic drinking straws at all hotels and resorts in Asia from January 1, 2018.

With the decision to replace plastic straws with bamboo straws, Anantara and AVANI become the first major hotel brands to announce a companywide decision to eradicate plastic straws at every single property across the Asia region, with a view to extend the roll out to properties in Australasia, Europe and the Middle East by the end of the year.

“As industry leaders, it’s important for us to play an active role in reducing the consumption and wastage of plastic globally. The enormous benefits for the health of the oceans makes this an obvious choice from both a business and environmental perspective. Across Asia, this will save 2.5 million plastic straws in the first year alone,” William Heinecke, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Minor Hotels, which includes both Anantara and AVANI brands, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

While plastic is one of the most defining inventions of our time, its negative environmental impact is undeniable. Globally, 300 million tons of plastic are produced on an annual basis and around 8.8 million tons are dumped into the oceans.

The throwaway nature of these single-use, seemingly harmless plastic straws are actually one of the top two polluters of the ocean, and each straw takes up to 500 years to decompose. The total number of plastic straws used daily is so large that no global usage figure exists. But Americans alone use 500 million straws daily, according to the National Park Service.

Anantara and AVANI said guests to their properties are increasingly eco conscious and the shift in demand for sustainable travel options means that the decision to end the use of plastic straws was a natural one. It is also a major step forward in achieving wider sustainability goals and contributes hugely to protecting the natural habitats of many endangered species, they added.

According to Anantara and AVANI, they hope to inspire more hospitality operators to follow this lead and to encourage its guests to carry their experiences at the hotels and resorts back home with them and to continue refusing plastic straws in their day to day lives.

“As both brands are part of the Minor Hotels International Group, this initiative will also be adopted by Oaks and Tivoli properties in Asia. The Elewana Collection properties will also follow once the plastic straw ban is applied to properties outside Asia,” the statement read.

The announcement comes alongside the existing environmental initiatives at various Minor Hotels globally. These include the Dugong Conservation projects at Anantara Si Kao, the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, the aquaponics farm at Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort, and the ongoing work of the Holistic Approach to Reef Protection at Anantara Kihavah Maldives.

Anantara runs three resorts in the Maldives: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort in South Male Atoll, and Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas in Baa atoll.

In addition to the Anantara branded resorts, Minor separately runs Naladhu Private Island Maldives in the South Male Atoll and Niyama Maldives Private Islands in Dhaalu atoll.

Meanwhile, AVANI has recently announced the development of its first property in the Maldives, with the AVANI Fares Maldives Resort scheduled to open in late 2019.

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