RIU Hotels & Resorts is now offering customers compostable straws at its hotels in Spain and Portugal, soon to be followed in Cape Verde.
Likewise, RIU hopes to be able to incorporate them into its hotels in America as of 2019.
The initiative that came from the hotel chain’s purchasing department and its collaboration with its supplier Emicela, means the total substitution of all of the previous material by these more sustainable products with the goal of helping to reduce CO2, eliminate waste and protect the environment.
These straws, which can already be found at more than 35 RIU hotels in the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Algarve, Madeira, Sal Island and Boavista in Cape Verde, are 100% biodegradable and also compostable. They break down in contact with other organic waste, turning into compost or fertilizer. The decomposition time varies depending on the humidity and temperature, but under normal conditions it takes place in 40 days and without leaving visible or toxic waste behind. An ordinary straw takes 300 years to decompose.
To promote good use and reduce straw consumption in the bars and restaurants of its hotels, RIU has modified customer-facing protocol for using them. Accordingly, the compostable straws are only provided when a guest explicitly asks for one, except with some cocktails where they are necessary for drinking. Additionally, the use of recycling containers is being promoted, and the bar and restaurant staff has been informed that the straws should be put in the organic waste container for later composting.
With this initiative, RIU is moving ahead of the plan presented by the European Commission to ban by 2021 a range of plastic items, including straws and single-use cutlery and plates, a proposal that must be accepted by the European Parliament and the EU governments.