MGM Resorts International has announced the next step in its plans to protect the planet and reduce its carbon footprint, by trying to reduce the usage of single use plastic straws across its almost 20 strong resorts portfolio.

Beginning to be rolled-out back in May, the initiative, which sees availability upon request, aims to eventually remove more than 250,000 straws a day from landfills and waterways, equating to 100 million straws each year.

Cindy Ortega, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts International, commented: “MGM is one of the largest multi-concept restaurant operators in the world. As such, it is our responsibility to do our part to help eliminate debris from landfills and waterways.

“The elimination of plastic straws is the latest addition to MGM’s comprehensive environmental responsibility program and can further enhance our efforts to protect our planet.”

Operators of one of the world’s top five largest non-chain restaurants in the world, MGM details that the items are one of the most littered items across the US.

Eight million metric tons of plastic winds up in the oceans each year, and in 2017 plastic straws were the eleventh most found ocean trash, furthermore one plastic drinking straw can take up to 200 years to breakdown in the environment.  

Timothy Ryan, vice president food and beverage strategy of MGM Resorts International, added: “We began the pilot program here in Las Vegas in the beginning of May at ARIA and Mandalay Bay.

“The response from customers has been so positive we have decided to quickly train our employees at all our U.S. resorts to stop automatically serving single use straws.”

Both single use plastic ‘stir straws’ and drinking straws have been removed from casino floors, buffets, cafes, bars and lounges as well as dining outlets, at MGM’s properties including The Borgata New Jersey, National Harbor Maryland and Beau Rivage Mississippi, all of which are located on waterways.