SeaWorld Parks Eliminate Single-Use Plastics Including Straws and Shopping Bags

You may have heard a lot of buzz in the news recently about single-use plastics in our ocean. Just earlier this week, a pilot whale found with 17 pounds of plastic in its stomach captured the world’s attention and this spring a floating island of plastic twice the size of Texas was reported in the Pacific Ocean. This issue continues to be a serious problem that needs a solution. 



With more than 31,000 rescues to date, SeaWorld’s rescue team has seen the impact of plastics on animals in the wild. “We've seen first-hand the horrific damage that plastic pollution causes to animals," said Jon Peterson, manager of rescue operations at SeaWorld Orlando. "Some studies have indicated that more than half of sea turtles out in the wild ingest some form of plastic. In fact, just this week, we performed surgery on a rescued sea turtle who became ill from ingesting plastic and other ocean debris."

SeaWorld and other parks in the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment family have been working to eliminate single-use plastics from the park, including plastic straws, plastic coffee stirrers, and plastic shopping bags. Since beginning this process, SeaWorld has avoided sending over 22 million plastic straws to landfills and often into the oceans.

The removal of these single-use plastics is only a small portion of the actions that SeaWorld is taking to make operations more sustainable. Here is a list including some of the other actions SeaWorld has taken throughout the years to help the environment:
  • All napkins used in the parks are made with 100 percent recycled fiber, and one-at-a-time napkin dispensers have reduced waste by 50 percent.
  • Only sustainable seafood is served in the parks and all coffee is certified organic and sustainable. SeaWorld sources most fruits and vegetables locally and only purchase cage-free eggs.
  • SeaWorld has an extensive recycling infrastructure that has ensured more than 40 percent of in-park waste is recycled.
  • The parks have some of the most advanced water purification systems in the world, leveraging this knowledge to reclaim and recycle wastewater for reuse, reducing fresh water consumption.

Next time you’re in the park, check out some of the awesome reusable bags in any of the gift shops. They’re a great to use as tote bags or for grocery shopping for your family.

PHOTOS: © 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

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