Hamilton Princess introduces hay straws

  • Environmentally safe: the Hamilton Princess has started using hay straws (Photograph supplied)

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has become the first business to introduce the use of environmentally safe hay straws to Bermuda.

The new straws replace plastic straws, which were phased out of use in the hotel’s restaurants and bars last year.

A statement from the hotel said the straws, from Hay! Straws, a San Francisco company, are completely biodegradable and are sustainably packaged. Made from wheat stems sourced from South East Asia, the hotel said Hay! Straws are carefully chosen for their quality and cut down to size before being thoroughly cleaned. Each straw, the hotel says, is unique due to the innate variations of the wheat plant. The straws are gluten-free, quick to break down and completely safe to use, according to the statement.

Plastic straws are widely regarded as one of the most harmful and pervasive types of plastic pollution globally. In 2017, environmental charity, Keep Bermuda Beautiful, found 638 plastic straws on Bermuda’s beaches in a single day, the hotel said. According to the statement, some 71 per cent of seabirds and 30 per cent of turtles are said to have been found with plastic in their stomachs. Marine life typically has a 50 per cent fatality rate after ingesting plastic, according to For a Strawless Ocean. The group is an open source resource and brand identity developed by Lonely Whale, the environmental incubator set up to positively impact the health of our oceans.

The statement said it is estimated that plastic drinking straws take between 100 and 500 years to break down and they never biodegrade, just break down into smaller pieces. They are one of the most harmful pieces of plastic pollution, the statement said, and are considered not only an environmental blight on Bermuda’s beaches but an aesthetic one, too.

Jan-Peer Lehfeldt, director of food & beverage at the hotel, said: “We are proud to be leading the way in providing innovative sustainable solutions in Bermuda. We want our guests to be able to enjoy their drink in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel without worrying about where their plastic straws might end up.”