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Bottled water alive and well in Disney World

International crowd still opts for convenience
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
As a partner in the publishing firm that launched greenerpackage, I’m hyper aware of environmental issues and try to keep my finger on the pulse of the real population outside of the packaging industry. Bottled water is often cited as one of the chief packages having a negative impact on the planet.

This week we headed down to Disney World in Orlando, FL and I was curious to see what impact, if any, all the talk of sustainability has had on the general public.

Good news and bad news. First, the bad news. We brought our own refillable rigid water bottle and started out each day filling it with ice. We were in the minority by far, by at least ten to one, more people from all over the world (tons of Europeans and Australians) still opted for the convenience of purchased bottled water.

We saw a few families with refillable containers, but by and large the bottled water for sale in the park was the first choice of the consumer. Not to pick on Disney either, it was the same story over at Universal Studios.

The good news? On the hotel property, guests were offered purchase of a refillable Disney travel mug. It was a good value, and I would say 99% of the containers we saw at the hotel were these reusable, collectable mugs. Interestingly enough, guests were NOT allowed to use these in the parks.

Now you can’t fault Disney for wanting to sell water—it was hot outside! There were plenty of drinking fountains—ice stations would have been nice. But this discussion begs the question, how do you discuss sustainability when it comes to entertainment? A few weeks ago at Pack Expo, Pat Reynolds and I stood at the top of the Rio in Las Vegas and looked own at the lights and fountains, etc., and asked ourselves, “how can sustainability live in a place like this?”

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