A plastic straw takes about 200 years to get decomposed into smaller toxic parts.

Why hotels in Kerala should switch to bamboo and get rid of plastic straws permanently
news Environment Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 15:03

On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, hotels in Kerala decided to ban the use of plastic straws. The hotels want to create awareness and work for the betterment of the environment through this move.    

Over 650 hotels associated with Kerala Travel Mart along with Approved and Classified Hotels of Kerala (AACHK) which has over 120 members, launched a campaign called ‘Refuse the straw’ on Monday.

A straw is among the ‘top 10’ items found during beach clean-ups and it takes about 200 years for it to get decomposed into smaller toxic parts, as per a report by Rajesh Abraham in the New Indian Express.

G Gopinathan, president of AACHK said, “We are starting this initiative on a trial basis. We hope to create awareness among the public on the need to eliminate plastic straws completely.”

Even though the campaign is a one-day affair, a lot of hotels have decided to carry on with this initiative. Andrew, Deputy General Manager of PJ Princess Regency, Ernakulam told The News Minute, “Though this is a one-day campaign, we have decided to take it further and create awareness. We cannot expect the customers to undertake the practice immediately but it will be beneficial in the long run.”

The hotels associations are still looking for alternatives to plastic straws but tourism organisation The Blue Yonder has already found one. They have started making bamboo straws available to people for promoting responsible tourism. Through their tree-planting initiative Travellers’ Forest in 2009, they asked the travellers to plant at least one tree near the Nila River in Kerala. Gradually, the tree planting exercise expanded to other places, including to lands owned by private individuals. Through this, the initiative encouraged the concept of one-metre forests.

"Earlier we never used to provide our guests with straws when they were given tender coconuts. However, there would be a few in every group who would always ask for a straw. The idea of making straws out of bamboo came when we visited a friend's place in Thrissur last year. Although initially we tried making straws out of papaya, they turned out to be bitter. So, we switched to bamboo," said Gopinath Parayil, founder of Blue Yonder.

Bamboo plants are easy to grow and are an economical choice for everyone. Therefore, straws made out of bamboo could act as an ideal replacement for plastic straws.

ReadThis organization is promoting sustainable tourism, one bamboo straw at a time

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