Conservation – Reducing Plastic Straws at Disney


I am a little late to the party at this point as this came out a week ago that Disney is expanding its conservation efforts. They announced on July 26th that they are working towards reducing the amount of plastic waste produced. The biggest one was eliminating plastic straws at Disney parks. There are several other initiatives as well. This effort will be across all of their resorts, parks and ships world wide. 

 

Changes being made include:

  • eliminating single-use plastic straws and stirrers. It is reported this will cause a reduction of 13 million stirrers and 175 million straws.
  • Reducing plastic in guests rooms by 80% by switching to refillable in-room amenities
  • Reducing the plastic shopping bags and offer the option to purchase reusable bags.
  • And lastly, eliminate polystyrene cups

 

Little backstory

The Disney Conservation Fund was established on Earth Day in 1995. This has put more than $70 million to help with reversing some of the decline of wildlife across the globe. Since that time, they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 41% last year. These are significant changes over the years and have a long-term goal of attaining a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste.

 

My opinion

I think that it is great that Disney is making efforts to protect the environment and reduce waste, along with the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This being said, I do find the timing a little odd due to the reporting of new sponsorship of Splash Mountain; can read more HERE. If this means that they will be providing bags for everyone that rides Splash Mountain, that is increasing waste products. We will see how this pans out. I would like to see Ziploc make reusable bags that stay on the ride for multiple uses which would reduce the waste that is produced.

As for the elimination of plastic straws, Animal Kingdom has been using paper straws for some time now. Therefore, my guess is that it is likely what the rest of the parks will move to. Certainly this would be a safer alternative with less impact on environment and animals. For more information can check out the initial article HERE. I feel like the removal of plastic straws has been a bigger deal than it should have been. Moreover, we should be trying to reduce waste across the board and I applaud there efforts.