MSC Cruises are crunching down on single-use plastic. Dubbed the world's largest privately owned cruise company and leading cruise brand in Europe, South America, South Africa as well as the Gulf, they have announced their intent and commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet worldwide on Thursday, October 11.
In place of single-use plastic, the company have also declared plans to introduce sustainable alternatives if available.
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They plan to have the new initiative in place by the end of March 2019 and it will fall under the company's Plastics Reduction Programme. They have already made waves to launch their transition by taking action to replace all plastic straws with 100% compostable and biodegradable substitutes by the end of 2018.
MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, said that the removal of single-use plastic items from across their fleet globally is merely an additional step the company is taking to reduce the environmental impact of their ships in operation overall.
"At MSC Cruises, it is our mission to provide guests with the best holiday experiences at sea and we are fully committed to doing so in a sustainable way," Vago explained.
Furthering their movement, MSC Cruises are looking to eliminate virtually all single-use plastics from their shoreside operations as well.
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So, which single-use plastic items are being given the no-go?
Some of the items to be eliminated include:
- Shopping bags
All of these will be replaced by substitute alternatives available and will be permanently phased out and replaced by the environmentally friendly alternatives come March 2019.
If you're ordering a drink on board, you're likely not to get a straw served with it automatically, in aid of the shift - a measure said to see the overall consumption of straws reduced by a great 50%.
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Where will they be sourcing their environmentally-friendly alternatives?
The company plans to be working closely with a range of international and local suppliers in the areas where the ships are deployed and docked to provide their fleets with eco-conscious alternatives. The alternatives will be made of 100% biodegradable resins, consisting of renewable resources, including corn- or sugar-based polylactic acid, bamboo, paper, or other organic materials.
However, the reality that all single-use plastic items will fully vanish from their varnished decks are slim - therefore, the company wants to ensure that all disposable plastic waste items that find their way on board are recycled correctly.
"Single-use plastics simply don’t belong at sea and we don’t want them on any of our ships anymore," Ross Volk, Managing Director MSC Cruises South Africa, concludes.
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