Hurtigruten’s announcement is part of a growing focus to tackle environmental issues in the cruise industry

There’s a war going on. Not that one. Or that one. And – at the time of writing – that one either. No, this is a war which is being raged in the supermarkets, kitchens and offices across our country. The war on plastic.

As the world continues to wake up to the dangers caused by climate change and the polluting effect that plastic has on the world’s oceans and rivers, there is more pressure than ever to do something about our over-reliance on plastic.

Just today it was announced that 42 major companies – from Aldi to Lidl to Coca-Cola to Unilever – have joined forces to sign the UK Plastics Pact which aims to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging completely by 2025. As well as making sure that 100 per cent of plastic packaging produced is reusable, recyclable or compostable.

And on the back of this, Hurtigruten, one of the world leaders in expedition cruising, have announced that by July 2, 2018, all unnecessary single-use plastics will have been removed from their ships.

“At Hurtigruten, we have focused on the problem with plastic pollution for years. There is a lot of talk about the impact plastic has on our oceans. But it’s time to take action. By getting rid of single-use plastic on board all ships already by this summer, we will hopefully get others to follow. It is possible to act now, and the oceans do not deserve more hesitation,” says Hurtigruten CEO, Daniel Skjeldam.

This means that plastic straws are replaced by metal straws, stir pins will no longer be used – the same goes for glasses wrapped in plastic, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, plastic lids on coffee cups, plastic toothpicks, plastic aprons, single-use packaging of butter and all other single-use plastic items that Hurtigruten’s 400,000 guests and 2,500 employees encounter on a day to day basis.

“Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat our oceans. Hurtigruten operates in some of the most vulnerable areas in the world. This means that we carry a special responsibility to protect these areas for the local population and future generations of explorers. Every year, Hurtigruten guests and employees cleans tons of plastic from beaches in the areas we operate. We witness the plastic pollution problem on a daily basis,” explains Skjeldam.

“No one can win the war on plastic alone without allies. This is why we implement high demands on our suppliers. Our goal is to become the world’s first plastic free shipping company. This is our first step.”