Dec 11, 2018
TOKYO - A hotel operator in Tokyo said Tuesday it will trial from January wooden straws in its restaurant while banning plastic straws in dining facilities and its bar by next April amid global efforts to reduce marine plastic pollution.
The new disposable straws, developed by The Capitol Hotel Tokyu Co. and wooden house builder Aqurahome Co., are made by curling thinly sliced domestic plantation timbers obtained after they had been cut down in forest thinning operations.
The straws, the brainchild of environmental journalist Yuri Takeda, will be used in the hotel's restaurant "ORIGAMI" from Jan. 16.
The move came as major companies including coffee chain Starbucks Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are stepping up efforts to ditch plastic straws in an effort to protect the marine environment.
Other similar companies have begun distributing alternatives such as paper straws.
The hotel and the residential construction company said they hope the use of wooden straws will improve people's understanding of sustainable forestry. Practices like the thinning of plantation forests promote the growth of the remaining trees.
Although the wooden straws cost as much as several dozen yen each, as compared to plastic straws which cost just 1 yen ($0.01), they aim to lower the cost by expanding their use.
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