When guests head to Busch Gardens and Water Country each year, they use plastic bowls plates and trays to eat from.
But now, that will change.
On March 5, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment announced they would be replacing all of their plasticware at their 12 theme parks, including Water Country and Busch Gardens, with 100 percent recyclable material, according to a news release.
“Part of our commitment at SeaWorld is to protect animals and their habitats worldwide, and continuously look for ways to reduce our environmental impact,” officials said in the news release.
The new initiative is part of the company’s marine animal rescue and rehabilitation program.
With five trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans, according to the Ocean Cleanup project, the company hopes to help eliminate some of the growing plastic issues around the world.
The change comes after eliminating plastic straws, coffee stirrers and plastic shopping bags from their parks last year. The company said since the process began, SeaWorld has prevented 22 million plastic straws from being in landfills.
“The removal of polystyrene foam from our parks has been in the works for years,” said Nathan Warters, associate manager of communications for Busch Gardens and Water County. “This is just one of many efforts our company is continuing to make to reduce our environmental footprint, including the removal of plastic straws and coffee stirrers last year and plastic shopping bags in 2013.”
Previously, the plasticware was made from polystyrene foam, which is difficult to decompose and recycle and non-biodegradable. By switching the projects, Sea World estimates it will prevent about 14 million pieces of polystyrene foam from entering ecosystems.
Warters said there were no numbers available on utensil use specifically for the Williamsburg theme parks.
The new products will cost more than the polystyrene foam ones, Warters said.
Warters did not disclose specific costs of the products.
“Whatever the Williamsburg parks can do to contribute to these efforts, we are committed to doing,” Warters said. “Our guests can expect to see these new product when the park opens for season on March 23.”