Accommodation giant Marriott International probably never saw the day it would have something in common with fast food giant McDonalds, but alas the day has arrived as they both adopt more sustainable practices.

Marriott International announced this week that it would eliminate plastic straws from its 6,500 properties around the world, the same week McDonald’s announced it was doing the same thing across its Australian outlets.

Let’s just backtrack for a second. Marriott International has 6,500 hotels worldwide – can you imagine how many plastic straws the group goes through every year?

According to the company, hotel guests go through 1 BILLION plastic straws every year.



Hoping to drastically cut back this disturbing figure to zero, the company will replace plastic straws from its properties and global headquarters with environmentally-friendly alternatives upon request and it will toss out plastic stirrers.

Additionally, Marriott will continue to replace small toiletry bottles in guest bathrooms with larger in-shower dispensers – an initiative that began earlier this year – and by 2025, the company is hoping to have reduced its landfill waste by 45 per cent.


President and Chief Executive of the group, Arne Sorenson said making these changes are a “powerful step forward” for the company and will contribute greatly to plastic reduction.

“We are proud to be among the first large U.S. companies to announce that we’re eliminating plastic straws in our properties worldwide.”

Arne Sorenson, Marriott International President & Chief Executive


Image: Robin Toorians/Unsplash

Meanwhile, Aussies can feel slightly less guilty about eating at McDonald’s restaurants because they too are replacing plastic straws with paper alternatives.

The paper straws will be trialled in two outlets from August this year and will eventually roll out to all 970 Australian outlets by 2020.

It’s a start. But how about getting rid of the rest of the plastic packaging now too Maccas?


READ: Heritage Hotels join the fight against single-use plastics

READ: Hurtigruten celebrates 125th b’day by ditching plastic

READ: A Fijian island is eliminating ALL single use plastic items

What are your thoughts on the news?