Marriott HQ Phases Out Plastic Utensils and Styrofoam

Marriott HQ Phases Out Plastic Utensils and Styrofoam

Marriott International Inc. will phase out the use of tons of Styrofoam and plastic utensils in its headquarters as it marches toward its five-year goal of achieving zero net waste.

To replace the Styrofoam and plastic utensils, the Marriott will instead use biodegradable products made from potato, corn starch and sugar cane.

The move will prevent about 20 tons of the plastic and Styrofoam products from heading to landfills, Marriott said. In one year, 2.5 million pieces of plastic and Styrofoam will be replaced. The company also will hand out reusable mugs and water bottles.

Spudware, one of the products that will be introduced at the Marriott headquarters, breaks down in just 180 days and is comprised of potato starch and soy oil.

The company said it also earmarked 30 company parking spaces for hybrid vehicles at its headquarters and created a team of "green ambassadors" to educate other staff members about environmentally friendly office practices.

Marriott said it is on pace to meet its 2010 goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 1 million cubic tons. Earlier this week, it announced it had broken ground on its new Fairfield Inn & Suites in Baltimore, which will be the city's first LEED-certified hotel.