According to the Plastics Reduction Programme announced recently by MSC Cruises, it will be replacing plastic straws with biodegradable and compostable alternatives by March 2019. It will also be swapping a large number of plastic items used in its onboard as well as shore operations with environmentally-friendly substitutes.
Quoting sources with knowledge of the matter, the cruise line would stop the use of plastic straws in December and will also no longer serve drinks automatically with a straw by that time. MSC has estimated that this step would reduce the overall consumption of straws by up to 50%.
Apparently, guests who may want a straw would still be able to choose from several environmentally-friendly options. This practice will also be followed at the lines’ island destinations, shore excursions offered by MSC and all shore-based offices, the sources confirmed.
Further, MSC has committed to scrap all single-use plastic spoons, stirrers, glasses, shopping bags and other items and deploy more sustainable alternatives, in addition to discussing plans with its supply chain partners to effectively eliminate single-use plastics in packaging and products across all levels. Packaging from single-portion items like jams, yoghurts or butter cups will also be removed.
MSC has decided to work with various local and international suppliers in areas where its ships are deployed, for providing eco-friendly substitutes that are made of 100% biodegradable resins. These will consist of and renewable resources like paper or other organic materials, corn- or sugar-based polylactic acid, bamboo, among others.
MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, stated the company is dedicated towards providing guest with the best holiday experiences in a sustainable way. The gradual elimination of single-use plastic items throughout the lines entire global fleet represents an additional step taken in that direction and also for protecting the seas and the oceans, he added.