Hurtigruten has announced that it will ban all unnecessary single-use plastic as of July 2, 2018, including the removal of plastic straws, drink mixers, plastic glasses, coffee lids and plastic bags from all Hurtigruten ships. According to Hurtigruten, the goal is to become the world’s first plastic-free shipping company. The company’s single-use plastic ban comes just a few days after announcing the largest environmental upgrade in Hurtigruten’s 125-year history. Up to nine of the company’s ships will be retrofitted to (liquefied natural gas) LNG and battery propulsion.
As part of the single-use plastic ban, plastic straws will be replaced by metal straws and plastic stirrers will no longer be used, nor will the above items or or plastic toothpicks, aprons, single-use packaging of butter and all other single-use plastic items that Hurtigruten’s guests and employees encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Hurtigruten’s single-use plastics ban will be effective across its entire fleet of custom-built expedition vessels – both operating on the Norwegian Coastal route, as well as expedition cruises in Antarctica and Arctic waters. The single-use plastic ban will also be imposed on the hotels, restaurants, and other establishments of Hurtigruten’s land-based operations on Svalbard, operated by its fully owned subsidiary Hurtigruten Svalbard.
Hurtigruten’s plastic use by the numbers:
Straws in bars and restaurants:
- Annual consumption: 960,000 pieces
- Weight: approximately 6,200 pounds
- Annual consumption: 390,000 pieces
- Weight: approximately 11,000 pounds
Single-use packages of butter:
- Annual consumption: 826,000 pieces
- Weight: approximately 1,800 pounds
- Weight: approximately 9,500 pounds
Collectively, this ban will cut 982,300 pounds of single-use plastics annually, according to Hurtigruten.