The Burwood Inn's Skye Higgins and Sandra Dart
Around the world pubs and hospitality venues are slowly starting to do away with single use straws and in Newcastle, or Merewether to be precise, Burwood Inn hoteliers Tony and Sandra Dart are
leading by example...
It is estimated there are now around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris across our oceans. As a result, 100,000 marine creatures die every year from plastic entanglement, along with one million sea birds.
While all forms of discarded plastic are harmful in our oceans, single use plastic straws are a top offender with experts suggesting there are more than 8.3 billion of them currently polluting the world’s oceans and beaches.
"We're a beach-side pub so it was a good fit for us to take the initiative of reducing our use of plastic straws and creating an opportunity for patrons to buy cool looking branded bamboo straws for just a $1. That money goes straight into fundraising for Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre because it is marine creatures like turtles that suffer the impact of discarded single use straws and other plastics," Tony said.
The couple, who have been at the Burwood Inn since late last year, support numerous local charities and sporting groups, and believe contributing to the environment should also play a key role in their overall commitment to community.
"We think it's so important as hoteliers that we support the local community in every way we can," Sandra said.
"The incredible coastline we have here in Newcastle makes up part of who we are as a city. The beach and ocean are important aspects of our local community, so it makes sense that we support our environment as well as our people."
The couple, who have been at the Burwood Inn since late last year, support numerous local charities and sporting groups, and believe contributing to the environment should also play a key role in their overall commitment to community...
Tony added that while he and Sandra know they are not the first local hotel to initiate the provision of multi-use straws, the response from their patrons has been overwhelming.
"We've had so many positive responses from our local patrons," he said.
"Things like that's great to see, great job and so on. We've even had people coming up to buy schooners who also throw their dollar coins into the collection tin and take the straws home for family members." In addition to the provision of bamboo straws, Tony and Sandra also pay close attention to the operations side of the hotel when it comes to practicing environmental awareness.
On ANZAC Day the hotel used biodegradable cups instead of plastic, and every day all food and dining waste from the hotel is put into twenty-litre containers and collected by local company The Green Helping Hand, which then turns it into fertiliser and compost.
"All waste is separated to make sure we recycle as much as we possibly can," Tony said.
"We would love to see more hotels get on board with the bamboo straws and maybe together we could raise even more money to protect our oceans and the marine life that call it home.”