Disney Planet Possible is the branding on Disney’s wide-reaching efforts towards sustainability and conservation and overall responsible conservatorship of the planet. Ahead of Earth Day this year, Disney is highlighting their efforts in minimizing and diverting of food waste.
Planning is obviously an important part of the process but when there’s left over food throughout the process, Disney has endeavored to find creative ways to reduce food waste.
Donating Prepared Meals
Perhaps the most obvious is donating to food banks. Since March 2020, Disney has more than $14.6 million worth of food to hunger-relief organizations globally – the equivalent of more than 2.1 million meals.
- Disneyland Resort provided more than 90,000 meals to the Orange County community in 2021. And in 2019, Disneyland Resort’s combined efforts avoided more than 8 million pounds of food from landfills.
- In 2021 alone, Walt Disney World Resort donated more than 550,000 pounds of excess prepared food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida with Disney VoluntEARS spending nearly 3,000 hours at the warehouse, helping to sort and pack food delivered across the region. The resort also donated $500,000 to further support the organization and its mission to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network.
- Hong Kong Disneyland joined with Foodlink Foundation to launch Disney Meal Box Express. Since June 2021, the program has provided around 12,500 healthy, freshly cooked meal boxes to those most impacted by the pandemic across four Hong Kong districts. The donations are prepared every Thursday by more than 200 Disney VoluntEARS and the Food & Beverage team.
Food for Plants and Animals
Food waste can be used for composting, nature’s way of recycling.
- At Walt Disney World Resort, food waste is sent to an off-site commercial composting facility where it naturally breaks down and is recycled into a nutrient-rich soil product, often used for gardening, farming, landscaping and more. In fact, compost soil made from Walt Disney World’s food waste is used to fertilize plants at Restaurantosaurus and in the Pollinator Garden at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, both at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
- In 2021, Walt Disney World Resort composted 15 million pounds of unusable food scraps. At Disneyland Resort, scraps from food preparation in kitchens and uneaten food from guests is diverted from landfill and converted, if eligible, into amendment that helps feed farm animals.
- Disneyland Resort steam trains run on biodiesel made from used cooking oil from the restaurants around the resort, This fuels all five steam trains plus the Mark Twain Riverboat. This eliminates approximately 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel per year.
- Hong Kong Disneyland converts their food scraps into energy – and diverts food waste from landfills in the process – by sending 360 tons of food waste to the government’s anaerobic digestion facility in 2021.
- Disneyland Paris recovers up to 93% of its food waste, which is transformed into energy through biomethanization. In 2019, 2,061 tons of food waste was processed to produce 745 MWh of energy, the equivalent of the annual consumption of 229 families.
Each year, over one-third of all food produced in the U.S. is never eaten. The resources attributed to U.S. food loss and waste are equivalent to 140 million acres of agricultural land, an area the size of California and New York combined. Disney Parks efforts are just one small step in helping reduce and eliminate food waste.