Plastic is the scourge of the ocean, polluting waters, shorelines and reefs, and endangering seabirds and marine animals that ingest it.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali is doing its part to reduce the problem by eliminating single-use plastic straws in favor of paper straws at its dining establishments, luau, banquets and events. The paper straws are served with keiki beverages and blended tropical drinks, but otherwise customers will have to request one, the hotel said.
This is no small gesture, as the Surfrider Foundation reports that 500 million plastic drinking straws are used and discarded daily in the United States alone. Not so coincidentally, the reef off the 23-acre Sheraton Maui and adjacent Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) is a popular snorkeling spot also favored by sea turtles.
Meanwhile, Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore is taking steps to reduce waste from disposable cups, utensils and other serving ware by introducing a reusable 16-ounce aluminum tumbler that entitles its owner to unlimited free nonalcoholic beverage refills.
Those who like a little more punch to their drinks can order a mixed drink or draft beer and receive happy-hour pricing all day when refilling their $10 tumbler, which doubles as a souvenir.
That’s a win-win for the environment and hotel guests. Find out where to get them refilled at turtlebayresort.com.