SeaWorld bans plastic bags, straws to combat ocean pollution

One more company joins the battle against single-use plastic. It will ban plastic drinking straws and plastic bags in all its parks. Paper straws, reusable cups, paper bag or reusable cloth bag are some of the products that are already offering in the parks.

SeaWorld has announced a ban on plastic drinking straws and plastic shopping bags in all its parks, including Busch Gardens and Sesame Place. The Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate the planet. This prevalence of plastics in the ocean has been making its way into the diets of marine animals that mistake it for food and become sick or even die. [Associated Press file photo] Collin the sea turtle, with a belly full of plastic garbage, may have been the last straw. SeaWorld announced all its parks and properties, including Busch Gardens in Tampa and Sesame Place, will ban plastic drinking straws and plastic bags. The announcement came days after SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue operations team performed emergency surgery on the sea turtle they named Collin, which came in with an abdominal blockage. That blockage ended up being sea debris made up of plastic. “We’ve seen first-hand the horrific damage that plastic pollution causes to animals,” Jon Peterson, manager of rescue operations at SeaWorld Orlando, said in a news release. “Some studies have indicated that more than half of sea turtles out in the wild ingest some form of plastic.” Guests can choose from paper straws or reusable cups. They can pay 10 cents for a paper bag or buy a reusable cloth bag when shopping ($2.99 for a medium, $7.99 for a large). Many of SeaWorld’s properties had already been moving in this directing. The San Diego park banned plastic shopping bags in 2011, and Busch Gardens in Tampa has long banned straws in its park. RELATED: Plastic straws: Everyone uses them, and that’s the problem. In 2016, the SeaWorld parent company announced […]

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