HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo is making a big change to help the environment.
In 2015, it removed plastic bags from the gift shops to protect animals in the wild. Now it has eliminated single-use plastic water bottles from all concession stands.
Guests have two choices when buying water at the zoo. One option is an aluminum reusable water bottle, which comes pre-filled with water. The other option is a paper-based water bottle made by JUST water. The bottle itself is made of paper from certified forests and the plastic cap is made from sugarcane, making the bottles 100 percent recyclable.
There are water bottle refilling stations throughout the zoo's grounds. Each fountain is marked with a “Save Sea Turtles Here” sign. The zoo said using reusable water bottles and refilling them at these stations helps save sea turtles in the wild by keeping this waste out of the ocean. Plastic bottles and bags can make their way to Houston’s waterways and end up in the ocean.
“The zoo is committed to saving animals, and their habitats, in the wild and this is just one more way we can inspire guests to take simple actions and join us in protecting wildlife,” said Peter Riger, vice president of conservation education. “We are using this action specifically to highlight the need to protect marine animals from debris. It also allows our guests to play a direct part in making a difference on our planet.”
Zoo guests can also buy reusable tote bags in the gift shops to help eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags. The zoo has a collection of canvas bags artistically designed with images depicting the animals that benefit from a reduction of plastic bags in the ocean.