MSC to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

MSC Meraviglia

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.

Photo credit Dave Jones

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.”

MSC Cruises Hosts Global Environmental Officers Conference in London

MSC Magnifica

MSC Cruises yesterday kicked off its Global Environmental Officers Conference held at its Technical Maritime Centre in London.

This four-day recurring appointment brings together the company’s talent in the environmental space and aims at fostering even stronger environmental practices, MSC said.

Hosted in the offices of MSC Cruise Management UK, Environmental Officers from 15 MSC Cruises ships will share best practices, receive the latest updates on international and local regulations, and get fully familiarized with the latest environmental company policies and vision.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, who kicked off the Conference said: “Environmental stewardship has been a key focus for us since day one and we feel a great responsibility to conserve and protect the seas and the oceans. They are our most precious resource and together with other industry players, we are committed to protecting them. While our environmental policies are clear and precise, it is also important we have an empowered team of dedicated professionals who make sure our policies are effectively implemented and help us meet our environmental objectives.”

Emilio La Scala, President and Managing Director MSC Cruise Management UK added: “In light of the ever-evolving environmental framework, we want to make sure our officers are always abreast of our company practices and environmental policies. However, compliance is only a starting point for us and we are committed to always raise the bar along this journey, meeting or exceeding regulations. Our Company’s success is dependent on the success of our officers and as our Company is expanding so rapidly, we also focus on attracting more top-notch talent in this space.”

During the Conference, the officers focused on subjects including MARPOL environmental requirements, and national and local requirements in specific geographic areas. In addition, the team further deepens their knowledge of wastewater treatment, emissions reduction, ballast water management, anti-fouling, and solid waste management.

The Global Environmental Officers Conference is part of a greater program to continuously elevate the importance of environmental matters across all company practices, MSC said.

In addition to this conference, the company hosts a series of environmental management training sessions for Deck and Engine Officers in its state-of-the-art training centre in Sorrento, Italy.

MSC Cruises to Install Ocean Guardian Software

MSC Seaview in Barcelona

Total Marine Solutions and MSC Cruises today announced a global collaboration following successful software trials of Ocean Guardian, which is a software system that lets ship operators access the latest environmental regulations.

By the end of July 2018, all MSC Cruises ships will be equipped with Ocean Guardian.

While the most widely applied environmental regulations are specified in the International Convention for Prevention from Pollution from Ships and its Annexes (MARPOL), many countries across the globe apply their own rules in waters within their jurisdiction, MSC said, in a prepared statement.

These local regulations are modified frequently, making it difficult for ship operators to stay abreast of the most up-to-date rules and guidance. While MSC Cruises’ policy prescribes to always follow the most stringent local or international regulations, Ocean Guardian simplifies the process and ensures accuracy regarding the applicability of international, national, or regional environmental regulations.

“MSC Cruises has been a collaborative partner in developing this technology during sea trials,” said Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, President of Total Marine Solutions. “Therefore, we are especially excited to  deploy Ocean Guardian’s state-of-the-art technology on all MSC Cruises’ ships.”

“As maritime regulations continue to become more complex, and as part of a much broader approach to meet our own environmental objectives, MSC Cruises along with the entire cruise industry continually invests in technology to better manage our environmental footprint,” added Bud Darr, Executive Vice President for Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group. “Compliance and knowledge are critical aspects of this and Ocean Guardian will be instrumental to accurately navigate the complex web of environmental regulations at sea.”

The database that supports the technology is updated by experienced marine professionals on an ongoing basis, and verified and vetted by a third-party independent maritime law firm to provide accurate information, the company said.

As a result, the new system will eliminate the need to continuously review the various handbooks, guides and environmental matrices to determine which regulations apply.

On the MSC Cruises fleet, the Ocean Guardian technology is located on the bridge, in the engine control room and in the MSC Maritime Support Center in London, where it is monitored 24/7. The software produces a sound when certain parameters are within range, alerting deck officers on duty.

MSC Cruises and Total Marine Solutions conducted successful trials with Ocean Guardian on MSC Divina, while at sea in the Caribbean and will be deploying the technology across the entire fleet.