In partnership with food concessionaire Lancer Hospitality and gift shop operator Event Network, Woodland Park Zoo has eliminated the sale of single-use plastics for beverages including water, juice and soda.
BYOB: Guests can lend a helping hand to wildlife by bringing their own reusable bottle or purchasing a stainless steel bottle at the ZooStores. Fountain drinks sold at the zoo’s restaurants and snack stations are now served in compostable cups instead of plastic bottles. All of the zoo’s vending machines have been replaced with all-can beverages.
Aluminum cans are viewed as a preferred alternative to single use plastic bottles or boxed water. As a material, aluminum is infinitely recyclable, recycled most often, recycled locally and takes as little as 60 days to turn into a new can or bottle. Guests who bring their own reusable bottle can fill them with water at three reusable bottle filling stations. In the coming months, more reusable bottle filling stations will replace many of the existing water fountains on zoo grounds.
Each year, as many as 30 billion water bottles are disposed of in U.S. landfills, where they take nearly five centuries to break down. Plastic bottles that don’t go to landfills often end up on beaches and in oceans where the debris breaks down into smaller and smaller bits known as microplastics. According to Zero Waste Washington, microplastics are found in every depth of the water column all around the world, including Antarctica, and are ingested by marine life, working their way up the food chain. Plastic marine debris affects more than 600 species.
As a stepping stone, the zoo and Lancer Hospitality have partnered with Green Sheep, which produces screw-top aluminum bottled water, made from 70% recycled aluminum content and sourced within the U.S. As a 1% for the planet company, 1% of each sale goes back to Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation efforts such as the Living Northwest program which focuses on field projects in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information or to become a zoo member, visit www.zoo.org or call 206.548.2500.