SAN DIEGO (CBSLA/CBS News) -- SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., has removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and shopping bags from its theme parks in an effort to "protect animals and habitats worldwide," the company announced in a news release Friday.
The decision came on World Oceans Day.
In lieu of plastic straws, the aquatic theme parks will offer guests the option of using paper straws or purchasing reusable cups with attached straws.
The release noted that Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, estimates that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, in addition to the estimated 150 million metric tons across the word.
"This milestone environmental achievement is a testament to our mission to protect the environment, the ocean and the animals we share our planet with, which are currently threatened by unprecedented amounts of plastic pollution," SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.'s interim CEO, John Reilly, said in a statement.
The park said the decision includes SeaWorld and Aquatica parks in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego.
Several companies have recently announced plans to phase out use of plastic bags and straws, including McDonald's stores in the U.K. and Swedish furniture maker Ikea.
©2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
for more features.