MSC Cruises Commits To Fleetwide Elimination Of All Single-Use Plastics

Open Jaw, Kerry Sharpe

MSC Cruises has announced it will eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet globally and introduce sustainable alternatives, if available, as part of its Plastics Reduction Program. 

The cruise line has said it will start phasing out an extensive number of plastic items – such as shopping bags, spoons and glasses – from all its ship operations and ashore by the end of March 2019, replacing them with environmentally-friendly solutions. As a first step however, the company has already taken action to replace all plastic straws with 100% compostable and biodegradable substitutes by the end of 2018.

“At MSC Cruises, it is our mission to provide guests with the best vacation experiences at sea, and we are fully committed to doing so in a sustainable way. For this reason, we are on an ongoing journey to reduce the environmental impact of our ships in operation,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “The imminent elimination of single-use plastic items from across our entire fleet globally is an additional step that we are taking in that direction. More importantly, under our global environmental stewardship program, it represents yet another step in our overall commitment to conserve and protect our planet’s most precious resource: the seas and the oceans.”

Not only is MSC Cruises eliminating plastic straws by the end of the year, providing only fully biodegradable and compostable straws on board its ships and ashore, it will also no longer automatically serve drinks with a straw, a measure which it estimates will see the overall consumption of straws reduce by 50%. Guests who may require a straw will still be able to choose from a variety of environmentally-friendly options. This practice also extends to the Company’s island destinations, all shore-based offices and the shore excursions MSC Cruises offers.

MSC Cruises has also stated that it will be working with a range of international and local suppliers in areas where the ships are deployed and will be providing eco-friendly alternatives made of 100% biodegradable resins, consisting of renewable resources including corn- or sugar-based polylactic acid, bamboo, paper or other organic materials. In addition, the company is also actively working with suppliers at all levels in the supply chain to effectively remove single-use plastics in products and packaging wherever possible.

Kerry Sharpe

Kerry Sharpe Columnist

Having worked in travel for the last 16 years, Kerry has experience covering the industry as media, as well as being under its lens when she worked for Thomas Cook, TravelBrands and itravel2000. A new mom, Kerry recently returned to the workforce and when she’s not chasing after her daughter, you’ll see her out and about covering industry events alongside her new BFF Tina the Travel Agent.

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