Norwegian Becomes First Major Cruise Line to Eliminate Plastic Bottles

No plastic bottles on Norwegian

Norwegian Cruise Line is now single-use plastic beverage bottle free across its fleet, according to a press release. The company said it was the first major global cruise operator to do this.

The brand announced last year that it partnered with JUST Goods, which enabled the cruise line to replace all single-use plastic water bottles across its 17-ship fleet, beginning with its most recent ship, Norwegian Encore.

In 2018, the company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic water bottles every year, according to a press release.

In addition, the brand is working to eliminate single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles later this year. 

“This is a very special and very proud moment for us,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “As a leading cruise line, we are thrilled to make such an impact by eliminating single-use beverage bottles across our fleet. It’s just one of the ways we are working to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. While this is just the beginning of what we and others can do, we are incredibly committed to our Sail & Sustain program and believe wholeheartedly in the importance of preserving our natural resources. We will continue to strive towards making environmentally conscious decisions to benefit our earth.”

Virgin and Emerald To Bring Sustainability to the Seas

Virgin Voyages Ship

Virgin Voyages and Emerald Brand have announced a sustainability partnership to deliver a tree-free and plastic-free experience on board the Virgin ships. The partnership begins on the Scarlet Lady, setting sail in 2020.

Virgin Voyages said it is among the first of major cruise lines to ban single-use plastic. Their goal is to fully embed sustainability into their business model through their operations and the sailor (guest) experience itself.

In addition to replacing single-use plastics with reusable items, Virgin and Emerald will deliver a so-called tree-free experience through the ship’s disposable paper products. Bath tissue, facial tissue, hot cups, paper towels, and napkins will be made from 60% to 100% tree-free material.  According to a prepared statement, these products are made with unique technology that uses the by-product of agricultural crops that are typically burned or wasted, in place of trees.

The partnership underscores the level of impact both companies are seeking to make. Jill Stoneberg, director of sustainability and social impact at Virgin, stated: “We have really ambitious goals here so no decision is taken lightly. Everything down to seemingly simple changes in our supply chain is made with the intention of giving sailors the absolute best experience while continuing to change business for good.”

“Driving change to solve the issue of plastic waste and deforestation has been embedded in our company’s ethos since my father founded our group over twenty years ago,” added Ralph Bianculli Jr., managing director of Emerald.

Emerald’s team of environmental experts, said to be known as the Eco-Squad, will help Virgin measure and communicate the environmental footprint reduction that has resulted from the switch to Emerald’s products. The Eco-Squad will also provide solutions for continuous improvement throughout the supply chain.