There has been a recent trend in business to ban the use of single-use plastic straws, in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic pollution produced on the planet each year.
Now, The Walt Disney Company has announced a single-use straw ban as well, which is a significant announcement based on the sheer amount of straw usage by Disney’s amusements parks and attractions around the world. Disney is hoping to fully eliminate over one hundred and seventy-five million single-use straws and thirteen million stirrers from all its parks by June 2019.
Starbucks is the other most recent major company to announce a ban on single-use plastic straws, a ban which is already taking effect and is expected to be completed by 2020.
The reduction of using plastic straws comes from years of activism to prevent plastic from clogging up in the world’s oceans, as it is known to harm and even kill sea life that consumes it or gets stuck in it. There are even entire masses or “islands” of trash floating in the open ocean, clumped together due to the ocean currents.
Disney is also making larger changes to eliminate single-use plastics among its many resorts and cruise ships as well. Disney has begun switching to refillable amenities in hotels and restaurants as well as reducing the amount of plastic bags offered at shops. There is currently no long-term solution or replacement for single-use plastics, although some companies have moved to using reusable plastics like straws, which can be compostable. Another option is using paper straws.
There has been some backlash to the recent banning of single-use straws, especially from the disabled community, where the elimination of single-use straws will restrict accessibility at restaurants and other public places, as some people rely on single-use straws to eating and drinking. However, there is no denying that major companies banning plastics will make a big contribution to the reduction of plastic in the oceans.