Swiss-Belhotel International is removing plastic straws from all its five properties across New Zealand and Australia.

The ban is effective immediately, and the company will assess all its single-use plastic suppliers and make an effort to replace all the items with eco-friendly options such as glass or biodegradable alternatives.

Australia is the first region in the Swiss-Belhotel International group to ban plastics, with the company’s 145 hotels planning to implement the same strategy as soon as possible.

“With plastic use becoming an increasing problem throughout the world, this is a small step in the right direction,” said Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman and President Gavin Faull.

“The hospitality and travel industries are large contributors to plastic waste, and it’s now more important than ever to implement change and fix the problem for future generations.”