Heritage Hotels is joining the growing number of hotel chains fighting against single-use plastics, announcing that it will no longer use plastic straws.

The move to switch all plastic straws with paper straws came as a response to environmental concerns from guests and the community, said Gary Jarvis, Heritage Hotel Management’s chief operating officer.

“Plastic straws we know have a negative impact on the environment, so giving them up is a small change that can make a big difference. We trialled this at Heritage Queenstown’s Mackenzies Restaurant in May and had a very positive response, so it made sense to roll this out across the entire group.” Jarvis said.

Heritage Hotel Management is responsible for 16 properties in 15 locations across New Zealand. The change will start with seven Heritage and CityLife hotels, which will switch from plastic straws to paper straws on 1 July, with the rest planned to make the switch by September.

“Part of our job in connecting guests with our special locations is ensuring that we commit to environmentally conscious practices so that these locations remain special. By making this change, we can immediately remove a harmful item from circulation. Even for the use of paper straws we now place the choice with the individual guest whether to use them.”