Disney moves to reduce single-use plastic in its parks and resorts as part of conservation efforts

The Walt Disney Company has a long commitment to environmental stewardship. They work to conserve natural resources and animal specials around the world. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has funded over $70 million woth of programs to reverse the decline of wildlife around the world. The company is also committed to reducing its impact on the earth by increasing solar power use and reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions.

There’s growing awareness around the globe of the environmental poison of single use plastic. From plastic water bottles, to shopping bags, and yes, even plastic straws, these items are used once and then end up in landfills, roadways, and waterways, eventually finding their way into the oceans and the stomachs of some of nature’s most majestic creatures like whales and dolphins and even the fish you might be eating for dinner.

Cities, nations, and companies are now taking steps to reduce reliance on single-use plastic and The Walt Disney Company is among the companies leading the way. The goal is to eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all its theme parks and resorts around the globe by mid-2019. They also plan to vastly reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by encouraging guests to purchase reusable canvas and other reusable bags.

While I’m sure there will be period of adjustment. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has made do with paper straws for a while. Plastic reusable Mickey straws are also an option. Who could complain about using one of those?

“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.”

If you stay at Disney resort or on a cruise ship, you’ll also notice a shift away from single-use amenities to refillable ones. So no more little shampoo bottles you can collect, but the reduction is plastic waste is worth the change.

I’ve been inspired by Disney and other efforts to reduce my own use of single-use plastics. I’ve invested in reusable water bottles, avoid using straws (and plan to bring my own reusable straws with me going forward), and we recycle all the single-use plastic bags we bring home. I think there are some wonderful opportunities to upgrade our reusable canvas bag collection with some multi-purpose options. Perhaps something that holds my smart phone battery, but can be expanded to carry anything I might purchase while at the parks.

My question for Disney is, will you also reduce the use of plastic cups and lids? How about plastic soda bottles? I realize you can’t sell glass bottles, but how about offering Coca-cola freestyle machines and a refillable mug for an affordable price?

It doesn’t take much and we can all do our part. What do you think of Disney’s plans to increase their conservation efforts by reducing waste and single-use plastic at their parks and resorts?