MSC Cruises today announced a commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire fleet globally and introduce sustainable alternatives if available, the company said.
Under its Plastics Reduction Program, by the end of March 2019 MSC Cruises will effectively phase out an extensive number of plastic items from all its ship operations and ashore, and will replace them with environmentally-friendly solutions, the company said.
MSC has already taken action to replace by all plastic straws with 100 per cent compostable and biodegradable substitutes by the end of 2018.
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 program, it represents yet another step in our overall commitment to conserve and protect our planet’s most precious resource: the seas and the oceans.”
All MSC ships have been readied for this program and are equipped with state-of-the-art recycling facilities and efficient waste management systems, MSC said.
All crew are engaged in the MSC effort to separate and handle waste in accordance with regulatory MARPOL requirements and CLIA’s sound environmental principles to prevent marine pollution. Their efforts are closely monitored by a comprehensive and coherent 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 is effectively implemented.
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 buttercups, jams or yoghurts will be removed and processes will be optimized to provide guest-friendly and convenient solutions.
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.
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, the company said.
Vago added: “At MSC Cruises we are now exploring working with a leading global certification company to assure any remaining plastic items, for which there currently are no viable substitutes yet, are effectively recycled. This will ensure end-to-end – no matter where our ships are deployed – that these remaining items from across all our ship operations not only do not have an impact on the sea but also on land for the benefit of the populations that we touch with our operations globally.”