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Three Venues Vow to Eliminate Plastic Straw Use

Viva Wyndham Resorts, STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater just announced they will eliminate single-use plastic straws from their business operations.

Viva Wyndham Resorts, STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater are among the latest organizations that have joined the movement to eliminate single-use plastic straws from their operations.

Viva Wyndham Resorts, an all-inclusive resort brand throughout the Caribbean, announced it will eliminate plastic straws from its resorts effective September 1 and will replace the plastic with biodegradable straws. According to the company, the objective is to reduce its consumption of plastic in order to contribute to the protection of the environment and, specifically, the oceans.

“Viva Wyndham Resorts is committed to sustainable tourism,” said the company in a statement. “The resort company employs local staff and uses locally sourced and seasonal produce. Additionally, Viva Wyndham Resorts is committed to the environment and has taken significant, preventative measures to reduce contamination, preserve water and create energy-efficient settings. The company has a substantial recycling program and has decreased the consumption of single-use and non-recyclable products and promotes selective sorting at all of its resort properties.”

Effective October 1 at STAPLES Center and September 17 at Microsoft Theater, all single-use plastic straws will officially be removed from the venues alongside their food and beverage partner Levy. Both venues will no longer provide plastic straws to guests who order beverages that traditionally have been served with a plastic, single-use straw, and paper straws will be provided upon request. A limited number of plastic straws will be available to guests with special needs.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our guests to join us in making a meaningful environmental impact through the removal of single-use plastic straws,” said Payman Khania, vice president of hospitality for Levy, in a statement. “Few businesses can match the scope or impact of STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater in making this transition, and we’re excited to contribute to these buildings’ leadership in sustainability while continuing to provide a terrific guest experience.”

The shift away from single-use plastic straws is expected to keep more than 500,000 plastic straws a year from ending up in landfills. Most recently, California lawmakers on August 23 sent Gov. Jerry Brown a measure that supporters say would make California the first state to ban full-service restaurants from giving out single-use plastic straws unless customers request them. Democratic California Assemblyman Ian Calderon described his measure, AB1884, as a small step toward reducing plastic use and fighting pollution.

“STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and Levy will partner to responsibly dispose of the single-use plastic straws currently in inventory at the venues,” the companies explained in a statement. “Unused straws will either be donated to organizations representing individuals with special needs requiring the use of straws or will be recycled.”

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