Disney World, the most magical place on earth, has always been committed to making the world a better place through their various sustainability initiatives. In 2018, they took a step towards reducing their environmental impact by eliminating plastic straws from their parks, resorts, and cruise ships. Let’s take a look at how Disney made this change happen.
Why Did Disney Ban Plastic Straws
Firstly, it’s important to understand the scale of the problem. Every day, Americans use an estimated 500 million straws, many of which end up in our oceans, harming marine life. Disney recognized this issue and decided to take action. In July 2018, they announced their plans to eliminate single-use plastic straws and stirrers from all of their locations worldwide, including their theme parks, resorts, and cruise ships. This initiative was part of their broader goal of reducing single-use plastics by 80% by 2030.
What Does Disney Have Now?
To make this transition possible, Disney collaborated with their vendors to develop alternative, eco-friendly options to replace plastic straws. These included paper straws, made from sustainable materials, that would decompose more quickly and efficiently than traditional plastic straws. In addition, they also introduced reusable plastic straws and provided them to guests upon request.
Disney’s implementation of this policy was gradual, with the goal of minimizing the impact on guests. The park started by offering paper straws at quick-service restaurants and snack locations before gradually phasing out plastic straws entirely. They also implemented signage and communication to inform guests about the change and encourage them to join the effort to reduce single-use plastics.
The elimination of plastic straws was just one step in Disney’s larger environmental sustainability goals. In addition to reducing single-use plastics, they have also implemented initiatives such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water resources, and promoting sustainable sourcing of materials.
By eliminating plastic straws, Disney has taken a significant step towards reducing their environmental footprint and inspiring others to do the same. This move shows how big corporations can take meaningful action to protect the planet, and serves as a reminder that small changes can make a big difference. So, next time you visit Disney World, don’t forget to grab a paper straw and do your part to help save the planet!
Let’s Talk About Disney’s New Straws….
We are all about Disney’s initiative to save the planet one straw at a time, however… They need to head back to the drawing board to pick a new version of a biodegradable straw.
The current Disney paper straws do not have many (if any) fans. They have a gross tendency to fall apart while you are actually drinking from them. Gross.
BUT! Disney also encourages guests to bring their own straws!
Bring Your Own Reusable Straws
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your plastic straw usage, consider purchasing a metal, glass or silicone straw. These reusable options are more durable than paper and plastic and can be used over and over again. Make sure to bring a carrying case or pouch with you when visiting Disney World so that your straws stay clean and safe while traveling in your bag. You may also want to invest in a straw cleaning brush so that you can keep them sanitary between uses!
Our Favorite Earth Friendly Straws
There are so many options to choose from on Amazon, so we went through and found our favorite reusable and also some biodegradable straws that are not paper!
PRO TIP: We love the packs that come in different colors so you can designate a specific color to each member of your party!
Tips for Storing Reusable Straws
If you’re not using a reusable straw, then you can skip this section. If you are, here are some tips for storing them:
Bring a carrying case or pouch to store your straws. This will keep them clean and prevent them from getting lost in the bottom of your bag or purse.
Invest in a straw-cleaning brush to keep your straws clean and sanitary while traveling between parks (or home). You can find these brushes at any grocery store or drugstore! They come with their own case too so they won’t get dirty when stored away from use.
Rinse out after each use and let dry completely before putting back into the storage case/pouch; otherwise mold could grow inside which isn’t good for anyone’s health!
Using a Straw Cleaning Brush
The best way to clean your straws is with a straw cleaning brush. A good one will have a long handle so you can reach into the bottom of your cup or glass, and soft bristles that won’t scratch up your plastic straws. You’ll want to use warm water and gentle soap, along with some elbow grease (or maybe even some help from someone else).
If you don’t have access to these tools at home, ask for them at restaurants where they serve drinks in cups instead of bottles or cans–they’re often more than happy to accommodate!
Ditch the Lids Altogether
If you’re not a fan of the new straw policy, consider ordering drinks without them. When ordering at counter-service restaurants or kiosks, ask for a cup with a handle to make it easier to drink.
There are also ways around using straws when dining in sit-down restaurants: look for restaurants that serve drinks in mason jars or other reusable cups. If you’re dining at table service restaurants like Epcot’s Garden Grill (which serves its food on metal trays), ask your server if there’s an option for getting your beverage without plastic straws–they may be able to bring out one of those metal cups instead!
Tell us in the comments what you think of the plastic straw ban!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
Need More Help Planning Your Vacation?
A travel agent is an essential resource when planning a vacation. Reach out to Magical Travel and they will make sure your vacation is pure magic and no stress! Their services are 100% FREE to you!