Hurtigruten wages war on plastic: Bans single-use plastic by this summer

As one the first major companies, Hurtigruten bans all unnecessary single-use plastic. Already by 2 July 2018, everything from plastic straws and cups, coffee lids and plastic bags will be removed from all Hurtigruten ships. The goal is to become the world’s first plastic free shipping company.

- 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, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel, and the world’s biggest expedition cruise line. Our message is crystal-clear: All unnecessary single-use plastic will be removed company-wide by July 2nd.

This means that plastic straws are replaced by metal straws, stir pins will no longer be used – the same with plastic 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.

See why we are banning single-use plastic on our ships.

Beach cleanups on board

- 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, Skjeldam says.

The mind-boggling facts

15 metric tons of plastic ends in the world oceans every minute of the day. If the trend continues, this number will double in the next 10 years. This means that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

- 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, Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s single use plastics ban will be effective across its entire fleet of custom build expedition vessels – both operating on the legendary Norwegian Coastal Route, as well as expedition cruises from pole to pole.

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.

In addition to the internal plastic ban, Hurtigruten challenges all its suppliers to reduce and cut the use of plastic.

- 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 first shipping company. This is our first step, 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 of Hurtigruten’s ships will be retrofitted to LNG - and battery propulsion. 

Examples of Hurtigruten’s plastic ban:

  • Straws in bars and restaurants
    • Annual consumption: 960.000 pieces
    • Weight: appx. 2.800 kg (6200 lbs)
  • Plastic cups
    • Annual consumption: 390.000 pieces
    • Weight: appx. 5000 kg (11.000 lbs)
  • Single-use packages of butter
    • Annual consumption: 826.000 pieces
    • Weight: appx. 826 kg (1.800 lbs)
  • Plastic aprons
    • Weight: 4.300 kg (9.500 lbs)

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