The evening (breakfast and lunch) cocktail is practically a staple in every traveller’s diet, but the mixed drink you know and love is undergoing a bit of a makeover in Hawaii.

Mai Tais, Coconut Mojitos, Tropical Itches and even the Cosmo will look and, maybe, taste a little different at the Hilton Waikoloa Village where plastic straws are being ditched in favour of… seaweed straws.

Yes, seaweed straws are being introduced later this year.


Speaking to KARRYON, Hawaiian Hilton Hotels’ Cynthia Rankin said the property is on a mission to become as eco-friendly as possible after using almost 800,000 plastic straws last year and finding an unexpectedly large number of them in the property’s educational sealife area.

According to the Regional Director of Corporation Communication Hawaii, dolphins, turtles and fish were consuming these bits of plastic, which prompted staff and management to ditch plastic straws.

So far, the property has replaced plastic straws with biodegradable paper pieces, and later this year, hopes to introduce flavoured edible straws made of seaweed.

“These seaweed straws will have different flavours so that staff can match them to the guest’s drink. For example, kids might get a strawberry-flavoured straw with their smoothy.”

Cynthia Rankin, Hilton Regional Director Corporation Communications Hawaii


As an overall company, Cynthia said the Hilton Group is also aiming for a more sustainable future and is planning to cut its global footprint by 50 percent by 2030.

The first step in Hilton’s 2030 plan is scrapping the straws, introducing energy efficient in-room technology and encouraging properties to source fruits and vegetables locally.

“We’re trying to buy as much food as we can from local farmers and fishermen. This farm-to-table initiatives gives back to the community and goes hand-to-hand with our corporate goals,” Cynthia added.


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Have you sipped a cocktail from a seaweed straw?