It’s the end of the road for plastic straws at Hilton
Hilton will remove plastic straws from its 650 managed properties by the end of 2018, the hotel chain revealed this week, joining a growing list worldwide of companies which no longer use the proven global pollutants.
It said it was its new goal to double its social impact investments and cut its global environmental impact in half by 2030, with the help of science-based targets.
Increasingly guests across the hospitality sector are rejecting plastic straws as public knowledge about the polluting effects become realised: it is the oceans 11th most common plastic waste and they take 200 years to decompose – though they can be recycled. Some studies say the USA uses 500 million a day – enough to circle the world 2.5 times.
For Hilton, Europe, Middle East & Africa alone, the commitment will remove more than five million plastic straws and 20 million plastic water bottles annually. They calculated that the straws saved each year in the region would exceed the length of the River Seine. Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President for Hilton Europe, Middle East & Africa, said as a leading global hospitality company, they had a huge responsibility to take care of natural resources and its communities.
“Through our corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Extending a ban on plastic straws across our managed portfolio is an important move in the right direction, and one which we are committed to building on in the coming years,” he said.
Hilton will remove plastic straws and offer a paper or biodegradable alternative upon request – an effort the company plans to implement globally across its hotels by the end of 2018. Hilton will also remove plastic water bottles from meetings and events in hotels across the EMEA region, as part of its global Meet with Purpose program to offer socially and environmentally responsible meetings.
The ban on straws is part of a new set of global targets designed to cut Hilton’s environmental footprint in half by 2030 and double its social impact investment around the world. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce its carbon emissions and commit to sending zero hotel soap to landfill.
The company will also double the amount it spends with local and minority-owned suppliers, and double its investment in programs to help women and youth around the world.