With the worsening situation of pollution and global warming in the world today, it is only imperative for every sector of business and of society to think of solutions to improve the well-being of the environment. Going green had been a trend for the past few years now, and many companies are starting to join the trend to protect the Earth. As the green travel trend gains popularity and acceptance in the world today, so is the effort of the travel industry to do its business that is also sustainable and responsible as possible. Clean seas and the environment, and the good well-being of its destinations are, after all, necessary for the success of the business and are where their ability to offer fantastic guests experience relies upon. With the growing number of ships being sailed in the ocean today, creating marine traffic, we cannot hide the fact that it also pollutes the Earth with the gas it emits in the air and the waste it flushes out directly in the ocean contaminating marine life.
If you are one of those people who love to travel the world on-board a cruise ship but still want to protect the environment, you can choose to book your next cruise experience in a cruise line that is eco-friendly and has the initiative to protect the environment. Such is Norwegian Cruise Lines who is pushing toward a greener fleet by eliminating single-use plastic bottles on-board its ship and its operation. Single-use plastic water bottles greatly contribute to the worldwide problems in plastic pollutions. This plastic we used that mostly ends up in the ocean contaminates and affects marine life and the well-being of our natural environment. The European cruise operator has been working hard and had been exploring options to eliminate plastic bottles on its ships. They are currently in partnership with the environmentally focused brands JUST Goods Inc., which was founded by the rapper Jaden Smith and his family, to replace the plastic bottles they use in their ships to paper cartons. Jaden Smith’s Just Goods company created the solution in single-use plastics by packaging their water on a carton rather than using plastic bottles, preventing more plastic bottles from reaching the ocean. The cruise liner hoped to save six million single-use plastic annually and is encouraging others to protect our natural environment. The JUST cartons are made from 82 percent of renewable materials with its cap and shoulders developed from sugarcane-based plastics.
With the latest environmental push, the cruise line had also banned the use of plastic straws in all of its 16 ships in 2018 and forecasted to reduce the use of 50 million straws in a year. Not only did they do it on all of its ships, but they have also stopped the use of single-use plastic straws on its private island and resorts, a big step that can help reduce plastic pollution. Eliminating the use of single-use plastics, as Frank del Rio, President, and CEO of Norwegian had said, builds on their global environmental program called ‘Sail and Sustain’ reducing their environmental footprints.
Aside from banning the single-use plastics onboard its ships and its private islands and resorts, Norwegian Cruise Lines also has strict discharge policies in its water conservation and management and uses the latest technologies to treat all wastewater they had generated onboard. Their progressive waste management program also ensures that they recycle and reduce waste to landfills.
Norwegian Cruise Lines is also in partnerships with the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), Wyland Foundation, Alaska Raptor Centre, Nova Southeastern University, Ocean Conservancy, and Trash Free Seas Alliance. Trash Free Seas Alliance works with big names in the industry in the conservation sectors to reduce waste and plastics in the ocean.
The cruise operator has also been applauded by Ocean Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group, in its important step to reduce the use of single-use plastics. They also added that even though, plastic straws are just a fraction of plastics that can be found in the ocean, it is among the top ten items they had been collected in their Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup and it can be deadly to marine life.
Though cruise ships are responsible not only for plastic pollution but for other environmental problems as well, knowing that a large and popular cruise ship like Norwegian is taking the initiative to reduce its environmental footprints is still progress for our fight against pollutions. And it is nice seeing news like this, with Norwegian banning the use of single-use plastics, as it gives us hope for the future. We still hope that many companies, big and small, and in every different kind of businesses will commit to reducing their environmental footprints, not only for their own sakes but for the future generations, as well. We only have one Earth to live by on, after all, and we must do all that we can do to keep it from being destroyed. There’s no planet B, and we must act to protect the Earth now.