As reported by ETurbo News, Benchmark is addressing one of the most critical issues — the approximately eight million tons of plastic products that annually pollute our oceans, rivers and coastlines, endangering wildlife, littering beaches and releasing toxins into the water. Many of those products, known as “single-use plastics”, comprise a significant part of those eight million tons and they are very heavily used by hotels and restaurants. Benchmark is initiating an ambitious program to reduce use of plastics in all 80 of its luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers, starting in 2019. The project, Single-Use Plastic Reduction, will combine innovative technology, comprehensive policies and procedures, introduction of new, sustainable products and a sophisticated messaging program to educate hotel staff and guests as to the importance of the initiative.
According to Marvin Stone, he was inspired by drinking a Mint Julep through a stalk of rye grass. These stalks passed for straws but were unsanitary and quickly fell apart. Stone wrapped strips of paper around a pencil, glued the paper together and sipped his cocktail in comfort. He developed ways to mass-produce the items and the straw was born. Many variations followed over the years and more durable and flexible plastic versions largely replaced the paper straw.