Disneyland Paris is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint, in an effort to slow down climate change and protect the environment.
The theme park, which welcomes approximately 15 million visitors per year, generates enormous amounts of waste annually and owners are committed to reducing this where possible.
From Thursday, April 18, Disneyland Paris will no longer provide plastic drinking straws to customers. Instead, guests will be offered biodegradable paper straws.
The theme park in Paris is just the beginning. According to Disney's website, single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all Disney locations around the globe will be eliminated by mid-2019. This will amount to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.
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Not only that, the toiletries in the on-site hotels will be made more environmentally friendly too; with small, disposable bottles of shampoo and shower gels being replaced with permanent, refillable options. Disney says this will cut down the amount of plastic waste in guests' bedrooms by 80%.
Meanwhile, shops throughout Disneyland Paris will soon stop handing out free plastic carrier bags. Rather, guests can choose to purchase a reusable bag (similar to the reusable shopping bags here in Ireland) for a nominal fee.
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Are these steps enough?
While Disneyland Paris is taking steps in the right direction, there’s no doubt more work needs to be done to battle climate change. Plastic straws are just one element of plastic pollution; what about disposable drinking cups, food waste and even plastic souvenirs?
The multinational conglomerate says, "We will complete our work to eliminate polystyrene cups across our global owned and operated business. These steps are part of our long-term effort to reduce single-use plastics, and we will continue recycling and responsibly disposing of single-use waste that cannot be eliminated."
Speaking about Disney’s efforts, CEO of Conservation International Dr Sanjayan said, "Today’s announcement is about more than 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."
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For more information on how to protect the environment on an individual level, check out the articles below:
- 10 things we learned from our visit to the recycling centre... read here.
- Go Green in 2019: Eight ways to break up with plastic... read here.
- 'Eye-opening and empowering': this climate change experience at Powerscourt is a must... read here.
Top photo: Disneyland Paris via Instagram