IHG is Banning it’s 6,500-Mile-a-Year Trail of Plastic Straws
Many companies have been making moves to remove plastic straws from their products due to concerns with pollution, particularly with the danger straws pose to the ocean. On Thursday, InterContinental Hotels Group became the latest company to pledge to get rid of plastic straws in their properties around the world by the end of 2019. Airlines have started making the same move earlier this year. This is a substantial commitment by the company, who has more than 5,400 hotels in nearly 100 countries around the world.
So how many straws does IHG use? The company is says that they use enough straws to span 10,500 kilometers (about 6,500 miles). To give an idea of how many miles that is, it’s about the equivalent of a flight from New York to Tokyo.
In a statement, Keith Barr, the CEO of IHG, said,
“IHG is in almost 100 countries and we touch the lives of millions of people each day. This gives us a responsibility to protect the environment and an opportunity to make a real difference. There is always more we can do to minimise waste, but the work we’re doing to reduce single-use plastic is a powerful example of how we can come together with guests, owners and colleagues to drive positive change.
“This work is not going unrecognised. Very recently we were named an industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the second year running, which is a real point of pride for us and recognition of the hard work and dedication of our people and partners around the world.”
In addition, the company is also moving further away from individual plastic soap and shampoo. Instead, it will rely more heavily on bulk dispensers, a transition it started last year.
Each year, eight million tons of plastic makes its way into the world’s oceans. Americans themselves use 500 million straws a day. While straws are not the largest percentage of the plastic trash that makes its way into the oceans, straws are often unnecessary required in drinks and do pose threats to the oceans. So with more and more companies doing their part to keep the product out of their drinks and off their properties, they are going a short way in helping alleviate a part of the plastic that makes it into the ocean.