The Walt Disney Company is the latest hospitality organization to announce its efforts to reduce plastic waste in all facilities, including theme parks and cruise ships. Other companies committed to reducing plastic waste include Starbucks, Hyatt, SeaWorld, and IKEA, according to CBS News.
In an announcement posted Thursday to the Disney Parks Blog, Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment at the Disney Parks, said the reduction is an initiative that Disney holds dear and one that goes back “more than 60 years” to their founding.
“Walt himself said that ‘conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns us all.’ We’ve taken that message to heard and act on our commitment in big and small ways around the world,” he said.
Here are three things to know about Disney’s new plastic policies:
1. The change will go into effect at all Disney-owned and operated properties.
The company hopes to roll out all changes by the middle of 2019 at all theme parks, cruise ships, resorts, and Disney-owned properties. Changes includes the elimination of polystyrene cups, plastic straws, and stirrers, “amounting to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually,” Penning wrote.
2. Disney will introduce reusable products and in-room essentials.
Penning wrote that the company is looking to transition to “refillable in-room amenities” in its hotels and on its cruise line, “reducing plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent.” Disney will also strive “to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags” by offering guests the option to purchase reusable bags. In addition, the company will continue to recycle and reuse things that cannot be eliminated.
3. This is not the company’s first step toward conservation.
The Walt Disney Company is widely known for its conservation efforts. Penning said the Disney Conservation Fund “has directed more than $70 million to reverse the decline of wildlife around the world,” since 1995. In recent years, the company has also made efforts to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste. The company’s longtime goal, according to Penning, is to attain “a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources.”
By reducing their single-use plastic waste, Disney hopes to make a statement to the world about conservation and why it is important for the future of the planet.
“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
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