MSC Cruises will ditch plastic straws from its ships by the end of the year, with the line revealing plans to phase out “virtually all” other single-use plastic items next spring.
Under its Plastics Reduction Programme, by the end of March 2019, MSC Cruises will have replaced plastic straws with compostable and biodegradable substitutes as well as swapping an “extensive” number of plastic items from all its onboard operations and ashore for environmentally-friendly options.
The line will stop using plastic straws in December and by that time, will also no longer automatically serve drinks with a straw.
MSC predicted the measure would 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 lines’ island destinations, all shore-based offices and the shore excursions MSC offers.
Then, by next March, the line has pledged to drop all single-use plastic shopping bags, spoons, glasses, stirrers, and other items for which more sustainable substitutions are available.
Packaging from single-portion items such as butter cups, jams or yoghurts will also be removed and processes will be optimised to provide guest-friendly and convenient solutions.
MSC will also be working with a range of international and local suppliers in areas where its 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 line is putting plans in place with partners at all levels of its supply chain to effectively remove single-use plastics in products and packaging wherever possible.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, said: “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. For this reason, we are on an ongoing journey to reduce the environmental impact of our ships in operation.
“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 programme, it represents yet another step in our overall commitment to conserve and protect our planet’s most precious resource: the seas and the oceans.”
Earlier this week the inaugural sailing of MSC’s upcoming vessel MSC Grandiosa went on sale.
The ship will sale from Hamburg on November 10 following its naming ceremony, taking place a day earlier in the German city.
The inaugural sailing, which is available as a 10-night itinerary disembarking in Genoa, or a 13-night sailing disembarking in Marseille, includes overnight stays in Southampton, Lisbon and Barcelona. The ship will then sail seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Genoa.
Sails are open exclusively for MSC Voyager members for the next two weeks with the ship going on general sale on the October 22 with pricing leading in from £889pp.