SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will remove plastic shopping bags at all its theme parks within the next year making it the largest theme park operator to make this commitment.
Park gift shops will offer paper bags made from 100% recycled paper or guests can choose to purchase reusable bags.
The company said this move will keep an estimated four million plastic bags from entering landfills and the environment each year. Approximately 1.4 billion tons of trash, including plastic bags, enters the ocean annually, the company stated. Wildlife such as endangered sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods.
"SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has a long history of actively supporting sea turtle conservation and rescues hundreds of these animals each year in the wild that have been impacted by human behavior," a SeaWorld spokesperson told PlasticsToday. "This change is natural for us and provides an opportunity to communicate to guests how they, too, can help make a difference for these animals."