Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort recently instituted plans to enhance “green” initiatives by providing plastic straws only upon request throughout Sandestin-owned venues including Marina Bar & Grill, Fat Tuesdays in Baytowne Wharf, Caffe Siena, Beach Club and Meeting and Event’s Banquet Services, projecting 100 percent compliance on the new policy by Dec. 17 of this year.

“We continue to identify eco-friendly practices that can be incorporated into our business model and will positively affect our local environment,” said Sara Becnel, vice president of development for Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. “As a coastal community, our resort is sensitive to our surroundings. Keeping the delicate coastal habitat healthy and pristine is a major goal of our resort.”

Sandestin joins other hospitality companies such as Marriott International, Hilton, Four Seasons and Carnival who have initiated plastic straw bans.

Additionally, Sandestin has placed water-conservation efforts into practice by educating guests on the impact of hanging towels for reuse that are not dirty, thus avoiding unnecessary laundry service. For group guests who know in advance they prefer to conserve, an opt-out of daily housekeeping is offered in exchange for two complimentary drinks per day.

“Research shows that commercial and institutional facilities are responsible for about 17 percent of the withdrawals from U.S. public water systems,” Becnel said.

Annually, Sandestin will replace almost half a million single-use plastic straws with paper — end to end stretching almost 79 miles — and will continue to encourage all resort venues to make the transition and to innovate toward uncovering even more conservation opportunities than ever before. Sandestin will continue to make plastic straws available, upon request, to people with limited mobility.