The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday said it plans to eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at its locations across the world by mid-2019.
The company said it estimates the effort will result in the reduction of over 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers per year.
“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” Bob Chapek, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products, said in a press release. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
The company said it plans to transition to using refillable in-room amenities in its hotels and on its cruise ships over the next few years and said it estimates the move will reduce the plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent.
The company also said that it will be reducing the number of plastic shopping bags in its parks as well as on its cruise line, providing guests with the option to purchase reusable bags “at a nominal price.”
“Disney has always been inspired by nature — and it is a uniquely powerful brand that inspires, educates, and entertains, all at the same time,” Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, said of the effort in the press release.
“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,” Sanjayan said. “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.”
The company’s announcement arrives after Starbucks announced its decision to stop using plastic straws at all of its stores worldwide.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s also said it would stop using plastic straws at all of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland.