Thu | Sep 20, 2018

FDR bans plastic straws

Published:Friday | September 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
FDR Resorts has banned the use of plastic straws on property.

One of the Caribbean's leading family resorts, Franklyn D Resort (FDR), in Runaway Bay, St Ann, has joined a growing list of entities supporting the move to preserve the environment, by banning the use of plastic straws on the property.

And the move has gone over well with guests, according to Sales Manager Trishawana Davidson.

"We have received full support from all our guests, both adults and children, they have shown great enthusiasm about the decision we made to stop the use of plastic straws at FDR," Davidson told The Gleaner.

She said further action to preserve the environment will be taken by the hotel.

"In the end, we all want to accomplish the same mission, which is to protect the marine life. This is just the first step in positive changes for FDR, as we plan to make environmental improvements to become a more eco-friendly property."

The move by FDR is important not just for the hotel, but for Jamaica as a whole as the country has been facing increased plastic pollution problems over the years.

The move also supports the stance of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) which earlier this year reiterated its support for a proposed banning of single-use plastic and Styrofoam containers, citing the danger it poses to the environment and the food chain and also the tourism product.

In banning plastic straws, FDR joins hotels in several United States cities that have done so.

In Florida, for example, Miami Beach was the first city to ban hotels from using plastic straws, doing so in 2012. Earlier this year, Fort Myers followed suit. Several cruise ships have also banned the use of plastic straws.

The banning of plastic straws is a small victory for environmentalists as straws make up a small percentage of plastic pollutants, when plastic bags, bottles, food wrappers and containers are taken into account.

However, the ban signifies an important first step in helping to preserve the environment.

There has been mounting concerns in Jamaica over the problem of plastic pollution, prompting Prime Minister Andrew Holness to comment recently. Speaking at the Governor General's Independence Reception and Exhibition at King's House on August 2, Holness said he would be making an announcement soon on measures to combat plastic and Styrofoam pollution.

The announcement came 17 months after a multi-stakeholder working group was set up to investigate the use and disposal of plastic packaging materials in Jamaica and the impact on the environment.