Sheraton Maui boasts juicy eco-practices

Restaurant and bar outlets at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa are just saying “no” to single-use plastic straws in order to save the ocean and beach environment in Kaanapali. Sheraton Maui photo

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa just says “no” to single-use plastic straws in an effort to enhance environmentally sustainable practices and to protect Kaanapali’s tropical marine ecosystem, including the endangered honu (green sea turtle). The resort is the first in the state to completely eliminate single-use plastic straws for better, marine-friendly alternatives.

According to Surfrider Foundation, approximately 500 million plastic drinking straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone, and 175 billion straws are used in a year. Surfrider Foundation also notes that marine life, including honu, can be harmed by ingesting plastic straws and other broken down plastics that pollute the ocean and waterways. Lonely Whale Foundation says an estimated 30 percent of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs, and when they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50 percent mortality rate.

Sheraton Maui is now implementing paper straws at its dining outlets, luau, banquets and events. Paper straws will be provided in keiki (kids) beverages and blended tropical drinks, with other beverages being served without straws unless one is requested.

The resort’s sustainability efforts are multi-faceted. From the guest rooms, all of the applicable items are sorted each day and picked up for recycling. Partially used bath amenities are donated to social welfare organizations, and old pillows and blankets are donated to Maui Humane Society and Salvation Army instead of being thrown away. The resort recycles more than 10 tons of cardboard and paper per month, and more than 15 tons per month of landscape waste from continual upkeep of the resort’s 23 acres is picked up and recycled into mulch. Food waste from the resort’s food and beverage outlets is donated to a local food waste service program.

The culmination of all these efforts yields big results.

“We strongly believe that care for one another begins with taking care of our surroundings and our continued sustainability efforts are just one of the many ways we strive to provide the highest standard of care and comfort for visitors and guests at our resort,” said Yamazaki.

In addition, kamaaina may enjoy deals during dinner at the Black Rock Kitchen this month. Sundays through Thursdays, those with valid Hawaii ID will get 30 percent off food. Fridays and Saturdays, kamaaina get a big 50 percent off food. For dining and room reservations, you may call the resort at 661-0031.

The resort will also set the stage for Kokua for Kupuna benefit for Hale Makua Health Services Saturday with Henry Kapono performing and island luau fare for $150 per person. For more details or tickets, call Hale Makua at 871-9271.