Macau-based casino operator Sands China Ltd says it has banned shark fin from its own restaurants, “as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to protecting the environment”.
The firm stated in a press release on Tuesday that the ban went into effect on January 1. It covers “the entirety of Sands China’s internal and external food and beverage operations, including all restaurants owned by the company”.
Sands China said it had begun “making steps toward a complete ban in 2017, when it removed shark fin from all its menus”.
“This shark fin ban reflects our company’s firm commitment to continue reducing the environmental impact of our operations,” said Mark McWhinnie, senior vice president of resort operations and development for Sands China, in a prepared statement included in the release.
The Sands China release also quoted Sudhanshu Sarronwala, executive director of marketing and communications for environmental organisation WWF International, as saying: “We welcome Sands China’s new commitment, which shows the way for others in the hospitality sector toward saving sharks and the ecosystems that depend on them. As sustainable options do not exist for sharks, halting consumer demand is the only solution today.”
Last month, Sands China announced a ban on plastic drinking straws, which took effect at the beginning of this year. At the time, the firm said it had “discontinued its use of plastic straws at all its properties, in an effort to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.”
The company’s ban on its use of plastic straws would eliminate the use of 2.2 million plastic straws each year, according to estimates by Sands China.
The casino operator has said it also plans progressively to replace hotel rooms’ single-use bathroom products – such as shampoo and conditioner bottles – with refillable dispensers, in a move estimated to eliminate around 2.7 million plastic bottles per year.
Sands China has also completed a redesign of the complimentary bottles of water supplied to rooms and suites, reportedly resulting in 3 million fewer bottles of that kind being issued per year, the firm said in January.
Sands China operates several large-scale integrated resorts in Macau’s Cotai district, namely the Venetian Macao, the Parisian Macao, Sands Cotai Central and the Plaza Macao. It also operates the hotel-casino complex Sands Macao (pictured), on Macao peninsula.
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"The most worrying [thing] is whether [mainland] China will again tighten the issuance of travel visas [for visits to Macau]"
Luiz Lam Kai Kuong
Macau junket investor