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DISNEYLAND

Probe into Disneyland Paris after boy paralysed

A 12-year-old Argentinian child has been left paralysed from the neck downwards after taking several rides at Disneyland Paris. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether the boy’s spinal cord was damaged at the amusement park.

In November, twelve-year-old boy Bautista Riera was rushed to a Paris hospital after taking several rides at the Disneyland amusement park. Paralysis quickly spread to his limbs and X-rays show he had suffered “a spinal and bone contusion”, UK daily the Guardian reports.

At the amusement park, Riera had been on several rides including one of the scariest the freefall Tower of terror.

Paris prosecutors say they are simply investigating “the causes of the lesions” and do “not suspect anybody”, the daily Le Parisien reports. Police are leading the investigation and will have access to the child’s medical file.

Bautista is still at the Necker hospital in Paris and is on respiratory support. His parents say he was in “very good health” before coming to Paris and played rugby, basketball and practised martial arts.

Disneyland management says the park’s rides are tested on a daily basis and staff have not noticed any faults.

At the time of writing, no complaint had been filed against Disneyland Paris.

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DISNEYLAND

Disneyland Paris goes green with ban on plastic straws

Disneyland Paris on Monday announced a series of measures to make Europe's biggest private tourist attraction more environmentally friendly, including banning plastic straws.

Disneyland Paris goes green with ban on plastic straws
Disneyland Paris on Monday announced a series of measures in a bid to become more environmentally friendly. Photo: AFP
The theme park east of the French capital, which draws 15 million visitors a year, is like a small town in its own right, producing 19 tonnes of waste last year.
   
It currently recycles paper, glass and 18 other types of materials accounting for around half of all its waste, a level it aims to increase to 60 percent in 2020, said Nicole Ouimet-Herter, the park's environment manager.
   
Starting Thursday it will bin plastic straws, to be replaced with fully biodegradable paper versions that will be distributed only if patrons request them.
   
The announcement follows a vote last month in the European Parliament to ban single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds from 2021.
 
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It comes as pressure mounts on companies and citizens to wean themselves off the plastics blamed for clogging up oceans.

Disneyland Paris, owned by The Walt Disney Company, also announced several other initiatives to clean up its act.
   
Next week, shops in the park will stop handing out free plastic bags, offering instead the option of purchasing bags made of 80 percent recycled plastic for €1 or €2.
   
And starting in June several of the park's hotels will no longer stock bathrooms with small bottles of shower gel or shampoo, replacing them with bigger ones that can be refilled.
   
Euro Disney, the park's operator, said it was also planning to install solar panels on the sprawling 22-square-kilometre site to get more power from renewables.
   
Currently, renewable energy sources account for only 10 percent of the electricity used.
 
“We are undertaking concrete actions to reduce our impact on the environment. But we also have the power to dazzle children and want to have a positive influence on them to encourage them to take care of nature,” said Mireille Smeets, Euro Disney's director of corporate social responsibility.
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