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Expedition Cruise Industry Declares War on Plastic

By ,   May 26, 2018 ,   Cruise Industry

Following pressure by concerned cruisers, the industry is moving to address the issue of plastic waste. At the forefront of the newly-waged "war on plastic" are small ship cruise companies.

Hurtigruten announced it will remove everything from plastic cups and straws, plastic bags and coffee lids from all of its vessels by July 2, 2018. The company revealed its goal of becoming the first plastic-free shipping company in the world.

Hurtigruten cruise line

Peregrine Adventures, which already is a carbon-neutral travel company, announced it will ban single-use plastics onboard its adventure charter trips, providing guests with refillable water bottles and reusable cloth bags.

Back in 2009, Silversea installed water filtration systems onboard its cruise ships and, currently, suite attendants refill glass carafes in every stateroom with filtered water instead of restocking accommodations with single-use plastic water bottles. The cruise line estimates that it has eliminated the need for nearly 400,000 disposable water bottles annually.

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has even hired Sarah Auffret, a seasoned polar tourism professional, to combat marine plastic. Sarah Auffret has background as G Adventure expedition leader on voyages in the Antarctic Peninsula, Svalbard and East Greenland and as base leader of Port Lockroy.

Adventure Travel Trade Association is also taking a leading role in reducing the number of single-use plastic water bottles within adventure travel industry. The organization is collecting data, generating awareness, creating education and collaborating with industry partners in order to create solutions for the growing problem.