Houston Zoo becomes 1st animal park in the country to get rid of single-use plastic packaging in gift shop

HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo is taking steps in the right direction in efforts to help out the environment.

A spokesperson from the zoo says as they continue strides to stay in alignment with their wildlife-saving mission, and in celebration of Plastic Free July, the zoo will now rid of all single-use plastic packaging in its gift shops.

“Since 2015, the Houston Zoo and its retail and culinary partner, SSA Group, have taken steps to remove single-use plastics from the Zoo starting with shopping bags in 2015, followed by beverage bottles and straws. Now, in this next phase, plastic packaging is the focus,” according to a news release from the zoo.

The zoo will reportedly be partnering with the SSA Group to work with vendors on an alternative to single-use plastic packaging by encouraging them to make different choices on their products.

“Eliminating single-use plastic packaging in our gift shops is just one more way we’re helping save animals in the wild,” said Colley Hodges, Houston Zoo’s sustainability manager. “By partnering with SSA Group, we were able to look closely at our purchasing practices to make the best choices for animals, as well as use our buying power to influence manufacturers. We hope others who share our commitment to animals will follow suit.”


A spokesperson of the zoo said they hope guests will not notice a change. Visitors will still be allowed to grab a snack, find their next favorite t-shirt, and squeeze an adorable plush, just without single-use plastic packaging.

In an effort to replace the plastic tags, gift shop items will now come with compostable hangtags, and with some products, stickers or signs will provide pricing information. Snacks will also be in compostable plastic.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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