South African hospitality giant Tsogo Sun has joined a small but growing number of businesses to have declared war on plastic straws.
It will no longer be offering straws at any of the over 100 hotels and 13 entertainment destinations it runs around South Africa, the hospitality group said.
Instead it will offer bio-degradable alternative straws on request.
Tsogo Sun joins the likes of Ocean Basket, Starbucks, and American Airlines, all of which have imposed plastic straw bans.
"Plastic straws, which are not bio-degradable and are generally used for less than 20 minutes, are one of the many single-use plastic items that end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming marine life," said Tsogo Sun in a statement.
It also cited Greenpeace Africa's research that "up to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic enter our seas worldwide every year."
Ocean Basket was one of the first major chains in South Africa to not only ban straws at over 200 outlets, but plastic bags too. The restaurant group said it had a responsibility to sustain the ocean life at the core of its business.
"Straws are an item of convenience for most us, and we hope that, by not providing straws with drinks in our hotels, restaurants, casinos and entertainment destinations, our guests will be inspired to stop using straws altogether. We believe that, by changing our minds today, we can change hearts tomorrow,” said COO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, Ravi Nadasen.
Environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa has indicated that the government might consider a legal ban on harmful plastic products – including straws – during the department's Budget Vote debate this year.
The government is also considering a total ban on plastic microbeads after a study found such beads in various rivers in Gauteng, in boreholes in the North West, and in tap water in Tshwane and Johannesburg.
Tsogo Sun tells Business Insider SA that it's begun serving drinks without straws at all of its properties.
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