5 Ways to Use Less Plastic at Disney World

by | Jan 13, 2022 | Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

In this new year, are you looking for ways to use less plastic at Disney World? Join us for creative ideas on cutting down those single-use plastics at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

If you decided, like I did, to stop using single-use plastics in 2022, you probably wonder how you can do that when you visit Walt Disney World.

Sure, Disney World has a strong recycling game, but if you want to simply use less plastic, you may feel overwhelmed at how to do that on your Disney vacation. 

Lucky for you—and just in time for this year’s resolution—we have you covered with some easy and inexpensive ways to use less plastic when you visit Disney World.


Like what you see? Tap or click on any product featured in this article to reach its store page. Be advised though– This article contains affiliate links. If you’d like to support us directly, please consider subscribing to our Digital Edition, and instantly unlock access to over 100 issues of WDW Magazine!


1. Save Your Water Bottle

Specially stylized Star Wars water & soda bottles for Coca Cola products sold at Galaxy's Edge

Lets be honest. You’d hold on to one of these bottles anyway. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

It’s no secret that you can get free water at any Quick-Service restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort—but you will need a vessel if you don’t want a teeny-tiny cup.

Floridian Pro Tip: When you exert energy in the sun, aim to drink eight ounces every 15 minutes.

Yes, you read that right. That doesn’t mean when you wait in line you need that much, but when you’re hauling butt to get to the Lightning Lane for Space Mountain because you had to run back to the car for your phone, yes, you want to have a ready supply of water.

Instead of stopping in for a free cup at Casey’s Corner, buy a water when you enter the park. Keep it; refill it as you drink the water and pass Quick-Service restaurants.

It’ll save you a wad of cash throughout the day, plus you don’t have to worry about lugging around your favorite Yeti (and perhaps losing it.)

2. Bring a Collapsible Water Bottle

Collapsible Ariel water bottle

Product photo courtesy of Zak Designs

If, for whatever reason—economic or environmental—you don’t want to buy a plastic water bottle at the park, come prepared with a collapsible water bottle (this one folds flat and clips to a backpack).

These make for an economical choice for the entire family – because of that clip, you can clip a kiddo’s water bottle to their belt hook (so you don’t have to carry it – yay!)

3. Bring or Buy a Bag

Captain America canvas tote bag from shopDisney

Photo courtesy of shopDisney

For years, if I bought something at Walt Disney World, I held onto the bag for ages, but after a while, I realized I didn’t need to save the bag—I had my memories of the trip and also the souvenir the bag contained.

If you plan to buy merch at the Walt Disney World Resort, bring one or two reusable shopping bags and politely ask the Cast Member to skip the single-use bag.

Another fantastic alternative? Buy a bag at Walt Disney World, or buy one from shopDisney in advance. (Obviously, the benefits of the latter are being the envy of the other shoppers at the Kroger while you bag your veggies in a super-cool Darth Vader bag.)

Interested in learning more about conservation and sustainability at Disney World? Check out our special Celebrate, Nature collectible edition of WDW Magazine from April 2021.

In it, we look at the sustainability practices of Animal Kingdom Lodge, talk to Dr. Mark from Animal Kingdom about animal welfare, explore plant-based dining at Disney, and even learn how Disney saved the Everglades!

Get Your Copy Now

 

4. BYOF (Forkand Spoon, and Knife, and Chopsticks, and Straw)

Reusable bamboo utensils, including fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks

Product photo courtesy of To Go Ware

I shudder to think of how many forks I’ve used at the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, but that ends this year because I found a reusable set of flatware—that includes chopsticks (Teppan Edo, I’m looking at you).

You can find a set that works for you, too. Most of them come with their own traveling case. 

And because plastic straws are terrible for the environment, WDW Magazine’s own Tatjana Lazar swears by these reusable straws on Etsy.

They come in multiple colors and (Disney) styles and feature a clip to hang off your park bag. Use code Tatjana15 for a discount on anything in the MrsandMay Etsy shop, including the straws.

5. Bring Your Own Doggie Bag

Multi-color reusable silicone food storage boxes

Product photo courtesy of ‎Vremi

Years ago, restaurants actually put leftovers in foil bags (hence the term doggie bag, although in the history of leftovers in my home, not once has that food gone to my furry BFF); today, many restaurants use paperboard, but some restaurants on property do not.

Either way, you use fewer resources—plastic, styrofoam, or paperboard—if you have your own takeaway containers.

I use these, but I may switch to this one for our next Walt Disney World trip. They fold flat, work in the freezer and the microwave, and yes, Virginia, you can put them in the dishwasher.

Reusable bento-style lunch box

Product photo courtesy of ‎Sisi&Tommy make kids smile

You can even pack snacks in these and use them for leftovers at dinner. You don’t need to buy something special, either. If you pack snacks for your day at Disney World, simply use that container for your leftovers.

There you have it: Five easy ways to use less plastic at Disney World. Don’t worry about trying any of these; Disney takes significant measures to conserve resources, and, most likely, a Cast Member will even thank you for taking steps to use less plastic!


Have any more tips on reducing plastic use at Disney World, and beyond? Tell us over in the comments on our Facebook page!


Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

Destinations To Travel 2021 Disney World ReservationsKnow your dates?
Disney Travel Agent Quote
Just need advice for now?
Disney Vacation Planning Help

5 Wild Conservation Station Facts

5 Living With The Land Facts to Grow On

Disney Conservation Fund Celebrates 25 Years Protecting Animals

 

Written by Cathy Salustri

epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu
Cathy Salustri's formative years—by which she means her teens and twenties—revolve around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with her hard-rock wannabe sort-of boyfriend, or working as a walking tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too, not just Disney—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for all sorts of Florida publications. Look for her and her husband at EPCOT, usually feasting on food at Morocco, or at Animal Kingdom Lodge, sharing a post-Disney scotch at Victoria Falls. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly feel-good Florida newsletter.
Cathy Salustri

Written by Cathy Salustri

Cathy Salustri's formative years—by which she means her teens and twenties—revolve around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with her hard-rock wannabe sort-of boyfriend, or working as a walking tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too, not just Disney—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for all sorts of Florida publications. Look for her and her husband at EPCOT, usually feasting on food at Morocco, or at Animal Kingdom Lodge, sharing a post-Disney scotch at Victoria Falls. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly feel-good Florida newsletter.

Get Your FREE 50th Anniversary Photo Collection!

You'll also be signed up to our weekly Newsletter, filled with the latest from Walt Disney World and beyond!

Success! Your ebook is on its way to your inbox!