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Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront has announced a “no plastic straws” initiative that aims to cease plastic straw usage by the hotel, and in future to only use biodegradable straws.

This, according to the hotel, is in line with their environmental and sustainability strategy which saw them taking some ground-breaking initiatives to reduce water consumption and, among other accolades, become the first hotel in Cape Town to use seawater in their swimming pool.

To focus consumer attention on the issue of plastic straws and its effect on the environment, the hotel plans to use only paper straws from this month onwards.

Other measures to raise consumer awareness will include displays and signage in public areas, with the tagline #refusethestraw.

This was as retailer SPAR Eastern Cape, the region’s biggest food retailer, announced it had officially begun the process of phasing out all single-use plastic shopping bags in stores.

The retailer said a wide variety of reusable options was being made available in all 243 stores linked to SPAR Eastern Cape, and plastic bags were to be removed as an option in the future.

Commenting on the initiative, Angus Spurr, the food and drinks manager for Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, said: “This is an important initiative. Straws rank in the top five of plastic junk found in the oceans - 90% of waste in the ocean is plastic.

“It’s our aim to conduct business more responsibly, especially environmentally, and we’ll continue to take initiatives such as this.”