Disney has announced its commitment to making a positive impact on the environment by reducing plastic waste at their parks and other venues across the globe! The entertainment giant is cracking down on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers, reducing the use of plastic bags, and eliminating polystyrene cups – all in the spirit of Walt Disney’s conviction that “conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.”

The company will eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers in all of its owned and operated locations globally by mid-2019. The change will reduce more than 175 million non-biodegradable straws and 13 million stirrers a year. The company has not yet revealed details as to possible alternatives.

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Disney is also going to transition to refillable in-room amenities in its hotels and on cruise ships over the next few years. The switch is expected to reduce plastic in guest rooms by 80 percent. They will also slash the number of plastic shopping bags in their parks and cruise line, instead offering guests the option to buy reusable bags at a nominal price. Lastly, Disney pledged to fully end their use of polystyrene cups across all its global businesses.

“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 is also looking forward to making further progress on its overall sustainability goals. According to the company’s data, in 2017, it reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent and diverted almost 50 percent of waste from landfills and incineration.

“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.”

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In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day! While it is wonderful to see companies take steps to eliminate unnecessary plastics, we can all make the same effort in our daily lives. To find out how you can be a part of the change by reducing your personal use of single-use plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Image source: rgrivas/Pixabay

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