In response to the concerns raised by the TV show Blue Planet, P&O Cruises and Cunard plan to abolish single-use plastics from their ships by 2022 due to the harmful impact they have on oceans across the globe. Carnival UK line is also committed to making the same pledge as part of an overall environmental compliance plan.
The news comes after Michael Bayley, head of the Royal Caribbean International line, told The Telegraph on Friday that plastic use is to be reduced across all of its brands, which also encompasses Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. RCI’s strategy will aim to eliminate disposable plastics such as straws and drinks bottles, along with a reduction in the plastics used in the operations side of the business, including things such as chairs, bags and the staff’s belts and shoes.
Single-use plastics are harmful to the environment due to the fact they can only be used once before they’re thrown away or recycled. Similarly, plastic straws, which are difficult to recycle, are one of the biggest causes of debris and pollution of our oceans. With an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean each year, cruise lines making a move to a more environmentally-friendly approach is good news.
Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “Whilst we have stringent regulations and procedures on board our ships for recycling, we need to go to the source of the supply chain to encourage changes to packaging and remove single use plastic products from our hotel operation.
“We are in discussions with our suppliers to try to influence the removal of single use plastic in products such as straws, water bottles and food packaging wherever possible, as well as reviewing our wider sourcing strategy of the most environmentally-friendly products across the board.”
He added: “Programmes such as Blue Planet have shone a light on the impact plastic can have on our seas and it is our responsibility, as an ocean-going cruise line, to take action now, however many hurdles we have to face along the way.
“The ocean is a fundamental part of our business but more importantly its preservation and that of the surrounding shores is critical for our future and that of future generations. We, as well as our guests, have a duty to respect and protect it as part of our wider environmental protection.”
P&O Cruises has two large ‘environmentally advanced’ ships – one of which will be the second in its XL class of ships – that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), due for delivery in 2020 and 2022, while a new Cunard vessel is set to enter service in 2022.
With regards to these new ships, Weinstein added that: “This intention goes even further in our ongoing quest for environmental protection.”
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