Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd says its restaurants have replaced all plastic items that are used just once and then thrown away with substitutes that are less harmful to the environment.
In a press release on Monday, MGM China said the company had removed all single-use plastics from its restaurants and “replaced them with environmentally friendly alternatives”.
“The milestone marks a significant step towards the reduction of food-and-beverage plastic packaging waste in Macau, which will save 4.5 million pieces of single-use plastic per year from being disposed of into the environment,” the company said.
MGM China runs two gaming establishments in Macau: the MGM Cotai casino resort and MGM Macau casino hotel (pictured). The company is a subsidiary of U.S.-based MGM Resorts International.
MGM China said its restaurants began phasing-out throwaway plastic items in 2018. Those items included drinking straws, cutlery and containers for takeaway food.
“The company has taken steps to make its takeaway packaging more recyclable, and to ensure all new designs avoid the use of unnecessary plastic,” the announcement stated.
MGM China said it has replaced plastic bags for takeaway food with paper bags, uses compostable and biodegradable containers and cutlery, and gives biodegradable straws to customers that ask for them.
“As one of Macau’s key integrated resorts with prominent presence, we have a responsibility to use our scale for good to lead the local hospitality industry in a plastic-free movement,” the statement quotes MGM China chief executive Grant Bowie as saying.
“We have acknowledged that this is only the beginning of the journey, and we know there is more that can be done. We will continue our efforts in working with the government and industry partners to introduce many more positive steps toward sustainability.”
Other companies in the Macau gaming sector have also taken steps toward reducing plastic use in their respective properties. Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd said last month it had committed the firm to a step-by-step plan for “eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and reducing single-use plastics”.
In January Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd said it had banned plastic drinking straws at its venues.
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"People are still pretty reserved in their [gaming] spending. And what the [junket] sector faces now is that the collection of [gaming] debt is difficult"
Kwok Chi Chung
President of the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters