Disney Expands Environmental Commitment By Reducing Plastic Waste

plastic cup and straw

Today, the Walt Disney Company announced that it will eliminate single-use straws and plastic stirrers at all of its owned and operated locations worldwide by mid-2019. The company estimates that this will result in a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.

In addition, over the next few years Disney hotels and cruise ships will switch over to refillable in-room amenities, which will reduce plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent.

In the Disney parks and on the cruise ships the number of plastic shopping bags Will also be significantly reduced. Guests will have the option of purchasing reusable bags at a nominal price.

Finally, polystyrene cups across Disney’s global owned and operated businesses will be eliminated.

Disney called these steps, “part of our long-term effort to reduce single-use plastics, and we will continue recycling and responsibly disposing single-use waste that cannot be eliminated.”

“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.”

Trending Now

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 Replies to “Disney Expands Environmental Commitment By Reducing Plastic Waste”

  1. So the items that people bring home as “free” mementos will all be eliminated: plastic cups, shopping bags, and scented toiletries. Like Dan in NH, these items stimulate memories. I have kept a shopping bag from every trip since my first in the 1990’s.
    This feels much more like a way to save money than it does to save the planet.
    Also, disabled people need plastic straws. Rather than eliminating them altogether, why not make them an “asked for” item. As someone who needs to use a straw sometimes to drink, this is really a slam – especially with a hot beverage.
    Will they refill spilled soda if cups don’t have lids?
    I have no problem with eliminating convenience when there is a marked benefit but some of this feels a lot like a token action.
    BUT Disney is a leader in innovative solutions to problems so maybe they will imagineer something we’ve not thought of before and that is better than what we have now!

  2. So, the straws are killing us, but the umpty-kagillion (technical term no doubt!) water bottles and soda bottles, plastic cup & lids aren’t a problem? So what now, want a coffee? BUY A MUG!!! No plastic lid so be careful if you try to move! Thirsty?, be sure to go to a water fountain where every kid has placed his mouth on the opening. I am sure the germs will avoid YOU. Or how about a water station – BUY A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE !!! and you get it filled with water! Ice costs extra of course!

    So whatever happened to recycling? Do the bottles and cups etc. make it to be processed, but those darn pesky straws just seem to run away?

    Bringing any leftover toiletries home is great… showering with them and the smell of them, brings us back for a moment, and puts a smile on our faces.

    And of course they will refill and sanitize the dispensers between guests every time, right? Oh wait, you don’t like the dispensers? BUY OUR H2O PRODUCTS !!!! And to carry them home, BUY ANOTHER BAG !!!!

    I think they are changing Disney’s former renown customer service with a smile, to customer service with a sneer and a cost.

    Over the last year or two, it seems they keep trying to make us reconsider our love for all things Disney. We have been immersed for many years, before kids thru grand kids…This is just another box to check for us on why we should reconsider how our retirement years and retirement dollars are spent. Sadly.

  3. I am on board with all of these changes except the in-room amenities on the cruise chips. The H20 stuff is fantastic and I love taking home the extras we don’t use. Dispensers will eliminate this. Everything else, absolutely.

  4. Just bring along your own reusable shopping bag. They are made of cloth and fold up enough to put in your backpack.

  5. The environmental impact of these decisions will be minimal. Eliminating plastic straws has been statistically shown to have less than one hundredth of a percent on the plastic pollution and most of the pollution is from countries other than the United States. I do not want to carry bags around with me to put my purchases in. Finally when I stay at an upscale resort (Grand Floridian) I do not want my room to look like a motel 6 with dispensers for toiletries.

  6. Eliminate straws – so now we get the joy of spilling our soda if walking. As for the “reusable” straw – what a lovely breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. They used to make waxed paper straws before plastic. They could use those.

    I have a better idea – how about just not going to over crowded, over priced WDW until they come to their senses? The food used to be fantastic back in the 80’s & 90’s. Now – not so much.

    I’ve always loved Disney as a place to escape too, but my last 2 trips were challenging. Ants crawling all over the table and dishes at the Crystal Palace Character meal. Food that was inedible at the Polynesian Luau. Claustrophobic on-property hotel rooms. Crowds that rivaled Grand Central Station during the morning rush hour. I’m on a Disney hiatus.

  7. I appreciate that Disney is taking the initiative to help reduce plastic waste however, I’m a little perturbed about purchasing a reusable bag for a “nominal fee”. I guess I will need to bring my own bags from home if I decide to make a purchase in the parks.

  8. This IS a good idea!!! What is the alternative if I don’t buy the shopping bag @a nominal fee?

    DEBK Replies: It’s too early to say — Disney hasn’t released any further details, so we have no idea of how that will work yet.

  9. I think it’s great they are making these moves. A bit over a month ago I saw a Kickstarter for a folding straw that fit into a pocket pack. This is a good step for our planet to have these major companies (Dis, Seaworld, Busch Gardens, etc.) reducing waste on this scale.