The entire world is always looking for ways of making things better for animals, humans, and the planet itself. Many people are trying to do their part and now, The Walt Disney Company is looking to do theirs, too. The massive company has announced that they are going to be reducing plastic waste at all of its theme parks worldwide, and that includes eliminating single-use plastic straws, cutting back on in-room plastic amenities, and moving to reusable shopping bags.
On Thursday morning, the Disney Parks Blog announced that the Walt Disney Company is looking to add more strength to the words of its founder. When he was alive, Walt Disney said that “conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.”
Interestingly enough, Mr. Disney was way ahead of his time and his words are more relevant today than they ever have been before.
That is why Disney is looking to do a bigger part and they have announced that by mid-2019, The Walt Disney Company will eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations around the world. This move is expected to be a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers each year.
We’re making a global commitment to minimize single-use plastic waste by eliminating plastic straws, stirrers and polystyrene cups, reducing plastic shopping bags, and cutting in-room plastics by 80%: https://t.co/pd0AGZeCUs pic.twitter.com/X2DP40spRe
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) July 26, 2018
While numerous businesses and even some whole cities have banned plastic straws, the move has been met with a lot of backlash. As reported by Quartz, those banning plastic bendy straws are not taking physically disabled people into account as many need those straws daily to be able to drink as they can’t always use cups in the proper fashion or at all.
Along with the elimination of plastic straws, Disney is also going to make other moves to help cut down on plastic waste. Over the next few years, they will continue taking out the small plastic bottle amenities of shampoo and condition to replace them all with refillable dispensers. This will also be done on the fleet of ships in the Disney Cruise Line.
Plastic shopping bags are also going to start being reduced at Disney’s parks and stores around the world with guests having the option of purchasing reusable bags for a small fee. From there, the company will also work on eliminating polystyrene cups as well.
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products, said that this is only a small first step but an important one.
“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship. These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
The Walt Disney Company is looking to do their part for the environment in more than one way, and eliminating as much plastic waste as possible is a huge move. The loss of plastic bags, plastic bottles, and stirrers is something that most people will be able to get around and learn how to adjust. Disney eliminating plastic drinking straws may cause a bit more blowback, but the company is focused on being cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
Editor’s note: A member of Disney’s communications team reached out to the Inquisitr with the following statement.
“Meeting the needs of Guests with disabilities is extremely important to us, and as we move forward with this initiative, we’re actively involved in discussions to identify and develop accessible, alternative options for those who need them. We will provide alternative straw options upon request for our guests who are unable to utilize paper straws. Additionally, our Services for Guests with Disabilities team is available before and during a visit to assist Guests who have any specific needs.”