The straw lobby has lost the capitalists. Just a few weeks after Starbucks announced it was eliminating plastic straws, Disney has said it’s doing the same.
By the middle of next year, the Magic Kingdom will be plastic straw- and stirrer-free at every location except Disney Tokyo. The company said doing so would eliminate an annual total of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers, though it didn’t announce what would replace them.
“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 statement. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
The company also announced it will be moving to use refillable room amenities on its cruises and in its hotels, though it provided no timeframe aside from “over the next few years.” They claim that move would reduce plastics in guest rooms by 80 percent. Plastic bags are also on blast as are styrofoam cups.
Bans on straws are becoming de rigueur for large corporations, municipalities, and countries around the world. This is all well and good since plastic is suffocating the oceans (including the freaking high Arctic!). But there are a few tiny issues before we write this off as a happy ending.
It’s a small world and we’re producing way more plastic than it can hold beyond straws, which make up just a tiny portion of the plastic entering the high seas. People with disabilities aren’t being consulted about the bans, which directly affect them.