More and more companies are doing their part to help lower their impact on the environment. Earlier this year, both Starbucks and McDonald’s made a substantial leap in terms of their environmental impact by announcing their intention to eliminate the use of plastic straws with their products. The Walt Disney Company is one of the more recent (and largest) companies to announce a new “green” initiative. According to an announcement from the company made in late July, the company will stop using single-use plastic straws and drink stirrers at all Disney locations by the middle of next year.
Each year, the Disney properties use an estimated 188 million plastic straws and drink stirrers. That translates to a massive reduction in potential plastics pollution once the company fully eliminates their use.
It’s going to take a LOT more companies following in Disney’s footsteps to have a truly global impact, though. In the United States alone, an estimated 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day. That makes efforts like that of Disney—even though it’s a massive company—just a drop in the bucket in terms of the overall plastic pollution issue.
The elimination of plastic straws and stirrers isn’t the only effort Disney is making in their effort to reduce pollution. The company also has plans to eliminate polystyrene cups at its resorts and on board cruise ships, as well as replace plastic amenities in resort rooms with refillable options and eliminate plastic shopping bags at the majority of its properties.
It won’t likely be a 100% result, though. Some groups, specifically guests with disabilities, have expressed the potential difficulty in using non-plastic straws. In those cases, as well as a handful of others where the company simply won’t be able to eliminate single-use plastics, recycling efforts will be made to minimize the overall environmental impact.
In an age where more and more companies should be looking for ways to advance their sustainability goals and eliminate pollution, Disney is serving as a good flagship for business who take their carbon footprint seriously.