Walt Disney Company Will Eliminate Plastic Straws at Theme Parks, Switch to Refillable Hotel Amenities
Sure, banning single-use plastic straws in major cities and big-name companies phasing out plastic is noteworthy, but now the most noteworthy American institution is following suit.
That's right, Walt Disney World will stop offering plastic straws in the park.
Cinema Blend reported that the Walt Disney Company will eliminate single-use plastic straws in all of its parks across the world by the middle of 2019. That's remarkably soon for this large of an undertaking.
Disney said that getting rid of the straws will save 175 million straws every year.
The company isn't only focusing on straws, though. Disney plans to reduce plastic shopping bags at its parks and to eliminate styrofoam cups altogether, as we saw with McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts. Earlier this year, Disney stopped using plastic bags at its Disney Store locations, instead offering reusable branded bags for a small fee.
Here's one of the real kickers for promotional businesses: The Walt Disney Company will also implement refillable in-room amenities for its hotels and cruise ships, which it says will reduce plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent.
Straws seem like a small start to a huge problem, but it's what Cinema Blend called a "gateway plastic." That is to say straws are something most people could live without, so it doesn't create a huge impact on people's daily lives, while it still benefits the environment.
There is the ongoing debate on whether bans of this nature are fair to people with disabilities who require straws.
One Twitter user pointed out a possible hypocrisy in Disney's action, drawing attention to a new partnership with Ziploc to provide visitors to Splash Mountain with free plastic bags to protect their valuables.
Disney, known for their inclusivity of disabled guests, is banning plastic straws from their parks despite the need for them for some disabled people.
At the same time they have a new deal with Ziploc to provide single use plastic bags for guests’ cell phones on water rides.
— Mx. Amadi “unwell anyway” Lovelace (@amaditalks) July 27, 2018
Some of these reactions seem to have jumped the gun a bit, as Disney confirmed after its initial announcement that it would still offer paper straws at its parks upon request. Disney's Animal Kingdom park has already exclusively used paper straws for a number of years.