Hurtigruten announces single-use plastics ban by this summer

05-25-2018 10:00 am

"The goal is to become the world’s first plastic free shipping company", Hurtigruten says: indeed, one of the world's pioneers in exploration travel has announced a ban on all single-use plastics across its fleet of 14 ships (both operating on the Norwegian Coastal Route, as well as expedition cruises from pole to pole) by July 2, 2018.

Collectively, this ban will eliminate 982,300 pounds of single-use plastics annually, a testament to Hurtigruten’s dedication to sustainability and protecting our environment.

Hurtigruten therefore becomes one of the first major cruise lines to effectively act against the widespread use of plastic on board its ships, additionally challenging all its suppliers to also reduce to a minimum or better yet cut the use of plastic entirely.

"Every year, Hurtigruten guests and employees clean tons of plastic from beaches in the areas we operate. We witness the plastic pollution problem on a daily basis and need to take action. Operating in pristine areas, as we do, comes with a responsibility", Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s single-use plastic ban comes just a few days after announcing the largest environmental upgrade in the company’s 125 years of history. Up to nine ships will be retrofitted to LNG - and battery propulsion.

Devastating numbers

This initiative means that Hurtigruten will cut the use of the following plastics by this summer:

  • Straws (replaced with metal straws)
  • Drink mixers
  • Glasses
  • Coffee lids
  • Bags
  • Toothpicks
  • Cutlery
  • Aprons
  • Single-use packaging of butter
  • Single-use plastic items

To better understand the impact of this single-use plastics ban, here’s the breakdown by the numbers (for all ships collectively):

  • Hurtigruten guests = 400,000
  • Hurtigruten employees = 2,500
  • Straws used in onboard bars/restaurants annually = 960,000 (6,200 pounds)
  • Plastic glasses used annually = 390,000 (11,000 pounds)
  • Single-use packages of butter used annually = 826,000 (1,800 pounds)
  • Weight of plastic aprons used annually = 9,500 pounds