06 MAR 2019: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is removing products made of polystyrene foam from its 12 parks. Officials at the Florida-based theme park company said Tuesday the removal of bowls, plates and trays made of the material will prevent an estimated 14 million pieces of polystyrene foam products from entering the environment each year.

Although the material is good for keeping food warm and is comparatively inexpensive, SeaWorld officials say it's resistant to decomposition and difficult to recycle.

Andrew Ngo, corporate vice president, In-park revenue said in a statement, “This change allows us to save an estimated 14 million pieces of polystyrene foam dinnerware which is resistant to decomposition and difficult to recycle, from entering the environment each year.

“Reducing our environmental footprint is an important part of our mission, and this achievement is another step toward becoming greater stewards of our oceans, their animals and our planet.”

The announcement came less than a year after the company removed all single-use plastic straws and plastic coffee stirrers from its parks, following its removal of single-use plastic shopping bags starting in 2013.

The complete removal of all polystyrene foam dinnerware products is one more step towards SeaWorld’s goal in curbing pollution and its environmental impact.

The company has also invested in projects to reduce its energy and water use and the amount of waste it generates, including planting drought resistant landscaping, LED lighting and the instillation of solar panels at its Aquatica San Diego park.

In recent years, Baltimore, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon have banned businesses from using foam food containers.

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