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Disney Expands Environmental Commitment By Reducing Plastic Waste

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship goes back to our founding more than 60 years ago. Walt himself said that “conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us.” We’ve taken that message to heart and act on our commitment in big and small ways around the world.

In fact, since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $70 million to reverse the decline of wildlife around the world. We’ve also reduced our net greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent in 2017 and diverted nearly 50 percent of waste from landfills and incineration in 2017, making significant progress on our long-term goal of attaining a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources.

Today, we’re sharing another important step in our journey of environmental stewardship. By mid-2019, The Walt Disney Company will eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe, amounting to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.

In addition, over the next few years we’re transitioning to refillable in-room amenities in our hotels and on our cruise ships, reducing plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent. We will also reduce the number of plastic shopping bags in our owned and operated parks and on our cruise line, offering guests the option to purchase reusable bags at a nominal price. Finally, we will complete our work to eliminate polystyrene cups across our global owned and operated business. These steps are 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.”

Disney Expands Environmental Commitment By Reducing Plastic Waste

“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.”

Looking ahead, you can expect us to continue making progress on this and the rest of our long-term sustainability goals. To learn more about Disney’s commitment to the environment, visit


  • I love this effort, however what about the single use plastic cups and single use plastic eating utensils? These add an extreme amount of waste. All of these products can be purchased using bio degradeable materials. I am just now returning home from my week long vacation. I brought my reusable water bottle, but found the lack of filling stations really discouraging. Each time I wanted to fill up my bottle, I had to use a plastic cup given to me to fill up my bottle. This defeats the purpose of bringing my own bottle for water. It would be great to see Disney really encouraging people to bring their own bottle to eliminate the need to purchase single use water bottles.

  • This is a great idea! Hopefully they replace them with straws made from plants, like what Blaze Pizza is doing!

  • How will the send your purchases to your hotel work without the plastic bags? Being that the bags are stapled shut and the ticket is stapled to the bag. I wouldn’t be happy if my bag I had to purchase was stapled like crazy.
    Also, the refillable amenities, I am assuming this means the shampoos etc. Will they be emptied, sanitized then refilled?
    I am all for conservation, but some things…

  • Will there be an alternative offered to folks with disabilities that require a straw to drink?

  • I love all of the steps proposed except the lids and straws. The logistics of dealing with drinks in the parks without lids and straws is going to be difficult.

  • Walt a true visionary and genius!

    Let’s never take the Walt out of Disney World!

  • YAY! Keep it up Disney.

  • Way to go Disney! This is an important step to take, and I hope you continue on this path.

  • This is a great step.

  • Thank you, Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Company for your vision and conservation efforts. Our world is a better place because of your dedication.

  • For those that a straw is easier to drink with, what about going back to a paper straw. If is single use and biodegrades.

  • I really don’t see myself “buying” a bag for my items when visiting the parks. Packing bags in my luggage and hauling them around with me “just in case” I decide to buy something is not going to happen.

    It’s nice to conserve, but some of it gets ridiculous, especially when people are not coming from their normal home to do their shopping.

    The straws I’ll be OK with, at least at parks. While they do suffer from disintegrating eventually, probably most drinks in the parks are consumed in a short enough time for that to not be an issue here. (I wouldn’t want to see it start happening at movie theaters where you may want the drink to last 2 hours plus though)

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