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Disney’s Conservation Efforts – Eliminating Plastic Straws And Bags

August 1, 2018

By now, many of you have heard about Disney’s promise to eliminate plastic straws and reduce the number of plastic bags given to Guests by the middle of 2019.

More than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers are thrown away annually on Disney Properties.

But, with the news of this ban spreading, many are also wondering…

“What does this mean?”



Single-use straws

Well, Disney hasn’t said exactly what this will mean. Will all Parks and Resorts switch to the paper straws, a more eco-friendly option than plastic straws?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge have already gone this route for the safety of the animals. This is also the reason you can purchase a balloon in all other Parks except Animal Kingdom. If you Park Hop with a balloon in hand, you will be asked to leave the balloon with cast members until you are ready to pick it back up as you exit the Park. (bonus: you also don’t have to worry about your balloon flying away!)

While it’s a possibility they will decide to do away with straws altogether, personally I think they will decide to expand the use of paper straws. Unless you have someone in your family with special needs or you have an aversion to paper straws, there shouldn’t be an effect on you or your vacation. (I used to work in a non-verbal special needs classroom and the majority of my kids used plastic straws to drink, as many of them also had sensory issues. Different textures DO make a difference.)

IMG_1613 (Edited)Another option are those adorable Mickey Straws that you already see in the Parks. We purchased some on our last trip. While I can’t remember the exact price or straw, even with purchasing one for everyone in my family, it made for an inexpensive souvenir.

If Disney decides to include more of these Mickey straws to drinks, we should also expect to see a slight increase in price…you know…to pay for the straws. But, then again, how many of these straws do you need to keep before we will be seeing guests tossing these in the garbage, as well?

Single-use bags

Personally, this one is not coming as a surprise. For the past year or so, my local Disney Stores have already done away with automatically issuing a plastic bag for your purchases. If you ask, they will give you one, but they really push you purchasing one of their reusable bags. Yup…I got these, too.

The same policy will now go for Parks and Resorts. If you’ve ever been on a Disney Vacation, you will know what I mean when I saw we always find ourselves with a hundred little plastic bags by the end of the trip. While I love the sight of Cinderella’s Castle, no one needs that many bags!

We combine souvenirs into the least amount of bags possible once we get back to the hotel room each day. And while we do use some of those extras as additional garbage bags, especially since we eat breakfast in the room each morning, unfortunately many of them end up in the trash.

eight person huddling

We can help!

  • Since many of us carry bags in the Parks anyway, opt to not take a plastic bag and just place your souvenir in your Park Bag. (I wonder if Disney will come up with alternatives to the plastic bag for Guests sending souvenirs back to your Resort.)
  • Bring your own reusable bag from home. Some are super cute and super inexpensive! We’ve gotten some from the Dollar Store to use as trick or treating bags and years later, they’re still holding up. They have Disney ones, too!
  • Bring reusable straws from home. Just make sure you’re also packing dish soap! Have you ever had drinks dry up in your straw? Yuck!


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