A JOURNEY TOWARDS
PLASTIC-FREE SHIPS

May 2021

 

For years, cruise ships have used huge amounts of single-use plastic – everything from wrappers for toothpicks to plastic straws. It’s why since 2018 we have been looking at all the plastic items that represented the majority of our plastic use on our ships. Since the end of 2019 we have found suitable environmentally friendly alternatives. In that year alone, we eliminated 97 million items of plastic.

 

Now all single-use plastic accessories – such as plates, glasses and cutlery, have gone from our bars and restaurants. But it is also removing the little things like sachets and yoghurt pots, that can make a big difference. We’ve worked hard with suppliers to source suitable alternatives. Nearly 20 million straws have been replaced with nine million compostable ones. We also removed 12 tons of plastic just from dishwasher packets, as well as plastic from laundry products and replaced them with more eco-friendly alternatives. Even plastic on 10,000 sunbeds was removed. It all adds up.

 

We realise that this is an ongoing challenge. Sometimes technology does not currently allow a suitable substitution, so we ensure all remaining disposable is recycled properly. Due to the last 12 months, we have needed plastic to be used for medical supplies and protective equipment, as well as some food-related single use plastic. But this is a temporary measure and will seek to replace them when conditions allow.

 

We are proud of what we have achieved. So far, for more than 200 of the most prolific items, we have reduced or eliminated them substantially. Or have found an alternative. We have an ongoing work programme where we are trying to reduce the amount of packaging used to bring items aboard. All this is to ensure our fleet is sailing towards a more sustainable future.