Marriott removing plastic straws from hotels

Marriott removing plastic straws from hotels
© Getty images

Marriott International is preparing to eliminate plastic straws and drink stirrers from all of its 6,500 hotels throughout the world by 2019. 

The world's biggest hotel company announced Wednesday that the decision will get rid of about 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by next July, according to The Associated Press.

Marriott's move makes it the latest company to make the decision to ditch plastic straws. The company joins Starbucks and American Airlines, which have also announced plans to remove plastic straws.

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A Marriott in Bethesda, Md., told the AP that the yearlong timeframe to eliminate plastic straws gives it time to identify alternatives. The AP also notes that some Marriott hotels have already begun to get rid of the plastic drinking straws. 

More than 60 Marriott hotels banned them in February.

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida had been using 65,000 straws monthly before banning them in March, according to AP. 

Amanda Cox, the resort’s director of sales and marketing, told the AP the decision was an easy one, considering the island is a nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles.

A viral video in 2015 showing a straw being removed from a sea turtle's nose has helped spur the movement to eliminate plastic straws.

“Guests choose to vacation here because it’s a tropical paradise,” Cox said. “We have to protect it the best we can.”

Marriott's decision comes as many companies and cities consider policies regarding the use of plastic drinking straws. Seattle became the first major city in the U.S. to ban plastic straws and utensils earlier this month, a move that came after several other smaller cities and businesses had committed to the policy.