August 22, 2018

The Walt Disney Co. announced late last month it will eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe.

Disney introduced the ban in response to concerns over the amount of waste plastic being dumped in the world’s oceans. The company described the decision as “another important step in our journey of environmental stewardship.”

It’s a lofty statement, but I believe a more realistic assessment of the policy—and similar policies announced by other companies such as American Airlines and Starbucks Corp.—is that these enterprises are implementing low-cost, inconsequential measures to burnish their environmental credentials.

Until consumers fundamentally change their buying habits in response to environmental concerns such as the proliferation of plastic pollution, companies will continue to implement sustainability policies largely for show.

Just consider how these actions will affect the entire supply chain rather than the small portion of business such policies tend to focus on...

Read More in the Wall Street Journal