MSC to eliminate disposable straws by December in drive to go virtually plastic-free by 2019

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  • MSC Cruises aims to phase out or replace ‘virtually all’ single-use plastic items by March 2019.
  • All plastic straws are being phased out and will be replaced with 100pc compostable and biodegradable alternatives by the end of 2018.
  • Other travel industry players such as InterContinental Hotels Group have pledged to eliminate straws

MSC Cruises is to stop using single use plastic straws by next December and has pledged to remove virtually all single-use plastics across the fleet by March 2019.

The Green initiative comes as other major names in the travel industry look to eliminate plastic. Hotel giant Hyatt is switching to Greener alternatives; Hilton is moving to biodegradable replacements;  American Airlines is opting for biodegradable alternatives; Seaworld is phasing out across 12 theme parks; and Royal Caribbean is removing plastic straws across all 50 of its ships by 2019.

Antonio Paradiso and Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises at the MSC Seaview naming ceremony in Genoa in June

MSC said that under its Plastics Reduction Programme, it will effectively phase out an extensive number of plastic items from all its ship operations and ashore by March 2019, and will replace them with environmentally-friendly solutions. The plastic straws move is the first step, it said.

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Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “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.”

 Antonio Paradiso, MD for MSC Cruises in Britain and Ireland said: “It is not only about single-use plastic straws, or small ‘visible’ restaurant items, the Programme also looks at eliminating all ‘invisible’ single-use plastic items from the entire supply chain. We are working with thousands of partners and suppliers to ensure that our Environmental Stewardship Programme matches the innovation of our next generation smart fleet.”

It is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the world’s oceans, and at least 100,000 marine creatures, and a million seabirds, die each year from plastic entanglement or ingestion.

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