I cannot be more excited about the announcement today from Walt Disney World and their next steps in an ongoing commitment to our environment.
Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $70 million to reverse the decline of wildlife around the world. They’ve also reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by 41% in 2017 and diverted nearly 50% of waste from landfills and incineration in 2017, making significant progress on a long-term goal of attaining a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources.
In today’s announcement, they’ve committed to eliminating single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe by mid-2019, amounting to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.
Over the next few years, they will be reducing the plastics in guests rooms by 80% by transitioning to refillable in-room amenities in hotel and cruise ships (I think this has actually already started). They will also be reducing the amount of plastic shopping bags, encouraging guests to purchase reusable bags for a nominal cost. And finally, they will be eliminating polystyrene cups across their global owned and operated business.
“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.”