MSC Cruises has announced today another new chapter in its environmental stewardship programme, by introducing a commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet globally and introduce sustainable alternatives if available.
Under its Plastics Reduction Programme, by the end of March 2019 MSC Cruises will now effectively phase out an extensive number of plastic items from all its ship operations and ashore, and will replace them with environmentally-friendly solutions. As a first step, the Company has already taken action to replace by the end of 2018 all plastic straws with 100% compostable and biodegradable substitutes.
In order to meet and exceed its environmental objectives, MSC Cruises is now also in the process of eliminating virtually all single-use plastics from its fleet and shore side operations. By March 2019, all single-use plastic shopping bags, spoons, glasses, stirrers, and other single-use plastic items for which substitution is available will be permanently phased out and replaced by environmentally-friendly alternatives. Packaging from single-portion items such as butter cups, jams or yoghurts will be removed and processes will be optimised to provide guest-friendly and convenient solutions.
While the Company works towards meeting this commitment, an imminent fleet-wide measure will be the removal of all single-use plastic straws. Already by the end of 2018, MSC Cruises will only provide fully biodegradable and compostable straws on board its ships and ashore. Moreover, drinks will no longer automatically be served with a straw, a measure which 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 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.
This is a really positive step for the cruise line and for the industry as a whole.