That's more than 175 million straws a year.

By Stacey Leasca
July 26, 2018
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Steven Diaz/Disney

The Walt Disney Company just made a major commitment to bettering the environment within the next 12 months. On Thursday, the company announced it will be eliminating single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all its owned and operated locations by mid-2019, including all parks except Tokyo Disney.

“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” Bob Chapek, chairman, Disney parks, experiences, and consumer products, told ABC News. “These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”

In total, Disney said this will amount to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. But the company isn’t stopping there.

According to ABC, the company will also be making significant environmentally friendly changes to its cruises and hotels. The first step, the company explained, will be to transition to reusable in-room amenities such as shampoo and conditioner. This change could cut down its plastic use by 80 percent. Disney will also attempt to mitigate its use of plastic bags by offering reusable bags for purchase at all of its stores.

“Disney has always been inspired by nature — and it is a uniquely powerful brand that inspires, educates, and entertains, all at the same time,” Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, a non-profit collaborating with the Disney company on environmental initiatives, told ABC.

“Today’s announcement is more than about 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. It also builds on Disney’s longstanding commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship, a legacy that stretches from the highlands of Peru to the islands of the South Pacific,” Sanjayan said.

Of course, Disney isn’t the only company to make this hefty promise to reduce plastic use. Starbucks famously promised to eliminate all single-use plastic straws from all of its stores worldwide by 2020. American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and other hospitality brands have promised to curtail their plastic use as well.

So what are patrons to do? You could always purchase yourself a few reusable straws that are almost as adorable as the Disney brand itself, including a pack of reusable stainless steel straws for $9, a pack of silicon straws for $15, or a pack of gingham reusable plastic straws for just $7.