Sands China, an integrated resort developer and operator in Macau and a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, has banned the use of plastic straws at all its properties to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.

3Jan - Sands China

Image: Sands China Ltd. has discontinued its use of plastic straws at all its properties, including The Venetian Macao (pictured), in an effort to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. Photo: Courtesy of Sands China Ltd.

The company’s latest move came into effect from 1 January 2019 and is expected to reduce the use of 2.2 million plastic straws each year, saving one ton of plastic each year.

The environmental initiatives form part of Las Vegas Sands’s Sands ECO360 global sustainability strategy, which has been designed to reduce the firm’s environmental impact and lead towards sustainable building development and resort operations.

The resort operator said that the plastic straws, if laid down end-to-end on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, are enough to extend from Macao to Hong Kong 10 times.

Sands China resort operations and development senior vice president Mark McWhinnie said: “Our company is constantly looking for new ways to decrease our carbon footprint, so that we can be ever-more responsible stewards of our environment.

“This ban on plastic straws, along with other plastic-reduction measures, will have a significant impact on our sustainability efforts, resulting in a greener Macao.”

The company claims that the ban on plastic straws is one of several new initiatives to reduce the use of single-use plastics at its properties.

Sands China’s other initiatives to reduce plastic include: gradual replacement of single-use bathroom amenities in the hotel rooms, like shampoo and conditioner bottles, with refillable dispensers. The implementation is scheduled to start early this year and is anticipated to reduce around 2.7 million plastic bottles per year.

The company said that it has redesigned the complimentary bottles of water it supplies to the rooms and suites, in order to reduce three million bottles of water per year. It installed filtered water dispensers in its properties’ public areas on a trial basis. If successful, the resort operator will implement the dispensers at all its properties.

Sands China is planning to make its laundry services more sustainable by avoiding, replacing, or recycling 95% of single-use plastic packaging, garment clips and clothes hangers.