Disney is making major green moves with its latest announcement for all its park properties. Joining other brands like Starbucks and Marriott, it will ban single-use plastic straws at all of their global parks and resorts.

The company issued a press release on July 26 outlining their goals for environmental stewardship. Already a staunch supporter of worldwide conservation and anti-pollution efforts, Disney views this as another step in the right direction:

“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.

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.”

Disney also plans to use refillable amenities in their cruise ships and hotel rooms, helping to improve their sustainability practices – something that falls in line with the late Walt Disney’s own philosophy on conservation.

This comes on the heels of Starbucks announcing their elimination of plastic straws in all of its locations, as well as the city of Seattle banning disposable cutlery and straws. Other locales in New York, California, and Florida are considering similar legislation.

Many of these companies have made their decisions based on the impact of microplastics on marine pollution. But they also realize such moves are part of a bigger picture in terms of reducing manmade waste in our environment.

Besides plastic being non-biodegradable, another concern is its BPA content which has been found to be both carcinogenic and an endocrine disruptor. When it ends up in landfills or the planet’s waterways, it can be consumed by animals, causing injury, disease, or death.

Although companies like Disney and Starbucks are offering alternatives to plastic drinking straws, there are some who worry about their elimination. Disability advocates point out that those with certain physical conditions may struggle to adjust to the changes.

They argue that some substitutes are not that reliable. There are businesses who do plan on keeping some plastic straws on hand that are available by request, but paper seems to be the way of the future. Reusable straws made from materials like silicone or metal are also a possibility for people who decide to tote their own when out.

Watch the short clip below to hear about how Disney’s move will impact plastic consumption. The growing trend that has businesses ditching straws and other plasticware doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and it’s possible we’ll be seeing more policies like this enacted.

Disney’s acting fairly quickly to launch their new plans and it will be interesting to see what they use as replacements for cups, straws, and stirrers. And it will be interesting see what other companies will follow suit.

Are you on board with these new changes at Disney? What do you think about eliminating plastic straws in favor of compostable ones?