Norwegian Cruise Line to elimate plastic bottles on its ships by 2020

A change is coming to Norwegian Cruise Line: It's doing away with single-use plastic bottles on its ships.

Norwegian announced Wednesday it is partnering with JUST Goods Inc. (founded by rapper, actor and activist Jaden Smith and his family) to eliminate plastic bottles on it cruise ships by Jan. 1 and replace them with JUST's paper cartons. The company estimates it will save more than six million single-use plastic bottles each year.

The cruise line previously got rid of single-use plastic straws in 2018 across its private islands and resort as well as its 16 ships.

"The elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources," Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, said in a press release.

"We had been exploring various options to eliminate plastic bottles from our ships and our partnership with JUST has allowed us to do this now," Stuart added.

The JUST cartons are made up of 82 per cent renewable materials; the cap and shoulder are sugarcane-based plastic.

Fellow cruise industry player Carnival Corporation announced in July that it would work to "significantly reduce" its ships' single-use plastics by the end of 2021.

Elsewhere in the travel space, San Francisco International Airport recently banned plastic bottle sales.

The 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card, released June 27 by Friends of the Earth (FOE), an international network of environmental organisations in 74 countries, gave most of the lines D's and F's.

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Friends of the Earth said in its report card summary that taking a cruise can be more harmful to the environment and human health than other forms of travel.

"It is regrettable that Friends of the Earth and other groups continue to issue misleading and inaccurate information about the cruise industry," Megan King, spokeswoman for Cruise Lines International Association, a cruise industry trade association said in an email. "The measures used by the FOE are very narrow and do not tell the true story of the leadership position that the industry has taken in these areas."

Friends of the Earth evaluated 16 major cruise lines and 185 cruise ships for the report card on four environmental factors in 2017 and 2018: sewage treatment, air pollution reduction, water quality compliance and transparency.

Disney achieved the highest overall grade of any line with an A- grade; Norwegian received a C- grade; and the other 14 cruises had final D and F grades.

USA Today

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