Next time you sip a soft drink or juice at a hotel or resort in Oman do not be surprised if there is metallic straws or stirrers instead of the usual plastic ones. Days of plastic straws, cutlery, plates, plastic tooth picks or bags may soon be a thing of the past in the hotels of the Sultanate. “Nearly one trillion plastic bags used worldwide every year contain polyethylene and cannot biodegrade. If they aren’t recycled or disposed properly, it becomes pollution which we commonly see alongside the road or floating in the water. This equals trouble for not only us and our environment, but animals and other wildlife as well,” Washington DC-based Earth Policy Institute notes in a study.
The implementation of non-plastics is a movement, which is sweeping the hospitality and catering industry worldwide in a big way. Various international hotel groups and restaurant chains recently abolished single-use plastics. Many establishments are going beyond this and even opted for reusable cloth napkins and table covers, rather than paper or plastics.
This summer, both Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa have stopped using plastic straws and replaced them with metallic ones, becoming the first hospitality brand in the Sultanate to implement this initiative. Juergen Doerr, General Manager, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, says they are pleased to be part of a global movement of using non-plastics.
Marco Syrbe, Executive Assistant Manager, in-charge of F&B, says, “we had to source a supplier and work within a timeline to introduce the idea. It took approximately eight months to launch this project. We have also stopped using plastic cutlery across our outlets to support complete move towards sustainable options.”
Marco explains that these straws have the same functionality as the old plastic ones. They are made of rust-resistant stainless steel and are extremely durable, easy to maintain and handle. The hotel service staff, he says, confirmed how efficient and convenient these straws are when it comes to maintenance, including cleaning, disinfecting and storing items.
Guests, Marcelo Barbosa from San Paolo, Brazil, and Abdullah from Dubai, feel excited of this wonderful initiative. Marcelo says it feels good using a metal straw while for Abdullah they look cool as they stand for a cause and care. The GM says they are also planning to introducing water coolers along the beach and at various points across the resort & spa. This will enable guests to use refillable water bottles and make use of the coolers.
Another exciting upcoming project is the organic gardens onsite at both their resorts. “This is a wonderful initiative dedicated to providing organic, vegetarian variety to the menus of our dining outlets across both resorts.” The hotel and resort are continuously working towards exciting projects dedicated to reducing waste of food, use of paper, saving energy and water.