From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Dr. Mark Penning
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 complement our commitments to reduce emissions, waste, and water use, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
“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 www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/environment.
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