Hurtigruten announces fleet-wide plastic ban

Hurtigruten has announced a ban on all unnecessary single-use plastic across its fleet by July 2 this year.

It aims to become the first plastic free shipping company.

According to Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, it has focused on the problem of plastic pollution for years, he said: “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.”

This means that plastic straws – of which its annual consumption is 960,00 pieces – 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 its 400,000 guests and 2,500 employees use on a daily basis.

The ban will be effective across the entire fleet of expedition vessels which operate on the Norwegian Coastal Route as well as from pole to pole. It will also be imposed on the hotels, restaurants and other establishments of the company’s land based operations on Svalbard, operated by its subsidiary Hurtigruten Svalbard.

Skjeldam said: “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.”

This move comes shortly after the announcement of the largest environmental upgrade in the company’s 125 years of history in which up to nine of its ships will be retrofitted to LNG- and battery propulsion.

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