MSC Cruises to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics by March 2019

MSC Cruises announced another new chapter in its environmental stewardship program, introducing a commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet globally and introduce sustainable alternatives, if available.  

Under its Plastics Reduction Program, MSC Cruises will phase out an extensive number of plastic items from all its ship operations and ashore by the end of March 2019 and replace them with environmentally-friendly solutions. Some items include single-use plastic shopping bags, spoons, glasses, and stirrers, among other items. Packaging from single-portion items such as butter cups, jams or yogurts will be removed, and processes will be optimized to provide guest-friendly and convenient solutions.

As a first step, the company has already taken action to replace all plastic straws with 100 percent compostable and biodegradable substitutes by the end of 2018. Moreover, drinks will no longer automatically be served with a straw. 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 percent 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.

Over the last several years, MSC Cruises has taken steps to uphold its commitment to sustainability under its global environmental stewardship program. Through various preparations, all MSC Cruises ships have been systematically readied for this program and are equipped with recycling facilities and efficient waste management systems. 

All crew are engaged in the company-wide effort to separate and handle waste in accordance with regulatory MARPOL requirements and CLIA’s environmental principles to prevent marine pollution. Their efforts are monitored by a system to manage and control all environmental aspects on board and ashore. A team of Environmental Officers across the fleet makes sure the company’s policies and vision are effectively implemented. 

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