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Good ‘Clean’ Fun: Disneyland Paris VoluntEARS Clean Up Rivers During Canoe Races

Xavier Bendavid

by , Senior Manager, Corporate and Social Responsibility - Strategic Citizenship at Disneyland Paris

Did you know that rivers are a major source of plastic waste* to our oceans? That’s right — 80 percent* of plastic waste is distributed by more than 1,000 rivers. In the spirit of Disney Planet Possible, Disneyland Paris cast members recently held two canoe trips that doubled as a river cleaning VoluntEARS event. With summer around the corner, it was perfect for those who wanted to enjoy time on the water and give back with some good “clean” fun!

Through this unique Disney opportunity, 35 Disney VoluntEARS took part in this fun two-hour canoe race — doubling up as a team-building activity — which took place on the Marne and Morin rivers. Diane Maréchal, digital project manager, shared that “it’s only when you’re on the water that you realize how much waste is in the river.”

In just two hours, hundreds of plastic and glass bottles, cans, shoes, clothes, boxes and even lamps were fished out of the water. In total, more than 1,200 different items weighing over 400 pounds were found and cleared across both clean up days. Laura Antonela, import/export analyst, shared that it was a “splendid day with a motivated group! This mission, both sporty and useful, allows you to be with nature while at the same time working to preserve it.”

The canoe races were a hit with the Disney VoluntEARS who participated and more cleaning races will be organized in the future. By cleaning up their rivers, the Disneyland Paris team helped reduce the amount of waste running into our oceans. If you want to do your part to support the planet, here are some ways you can help — no canoe needed! 

  1. Use Reusable Utensils: Bring a set from home or purchase them at select food and beverage locations.  
  2. Recycle: Recycle when at home and out and about! When you’re at the park, make use of the specialized waste bins.
  3. Bring a Water Bottle: Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and ditch plastic water bottles. Refill them whenever you pass by a water fountain. 

Be sure to check out Disney Planet Possible to keep up with the Disneyland Paris environmental efforts and learn more about Disney VoluntEARS here

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