In an announcement today, The Walt Disney Company is set to eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe.
The announcement is a positive step forward in the movement to reduce the overall plastic use across the globe. The decision is expected to reduce more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.
As well, the world-wide leader in entertainment, has plans to transition to refillable in-room amenities in hotels and cruise ships, reducing plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent. On top of that, Disney will also reduce the number of plastic shopping bags in their owned and operated parks and cruise line, while offering guests the option to purchase reusable bags at a nominal price. Finally, they are will complete their work to eliminate polystyrene cups across all global owned and operated business.
Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $70 million to reverse the decline of wildlife around the world. They have also reduced their net greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent in 2017 and diverted nearly 50 percent of waste from landfills and incineration in 2017, making significant progress on long-term goal of attaining a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources.
Disney properties across the world have a huge environmental footprint as the resources to operate and entertain the millions of guests does take an extreme amount of energy and resources. The fact that Disney is setting a goal to reduce their emissions and waste sets an example companies all over the world will be able to follow.
The company plans to implement most changes by mid-2019.
“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
“Disney has always been inspired by nature – and it is a uniquely powerful brand that inspires, educates, and entertains, all at the same time,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “Today’s announcement is more than about reducing single-use plastic waste, it’s also about showing millions of kids and adults from around the world the many ways we can change our daily habits to care for the oceans and protect nature that sustains us all. It also builds on Disney’s longstanding commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship, a legacy that stretches from the highlands of Peru to the islands of the South Pacific.”