TUI Cruises to eliminate disposable plastic by 2020

Line will replace single-use plastic items with eco-friendly alternatives on its ships

TUI Cruises to eliminate disposable plastic by 2020
The new Mein Schiff 1 already has replenishable shampoo and shower gel dispensers in guest showers (Image: TUI Cruises)

By Rebecca Gibson |

Germany-based operator TUI Cruises has launched a new Wasteless initiative to remove disposable plastic items from the six ships in its Mein Schiff fleet by the end of 2020.

TUI Cruises is taking a company-wide approach to reducing plastic, enlisting the help of shore-based staff, onboard crew members, guests and important partners and suppliers to meets its goal of gradually eliminating all single-use plastic products by its deadline.

“We already operate the most modern and environmentally friendly cruise fleet worldwide and with this programme, we take waste management one step further by systematically reducing plastic waste,” said Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises.

The Wasteless progamme builds on the measures TUI Cruises has previously introduced to reduce plastic, including putting glass water decanters in guest cabins on all ships and installing replenishable shampoo and shower gel dispensers in showers on the new Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiffs 3 to 6.

In future, the cruise line will introduce laundry bags made of bio-based plastic to save around 270,000 plastic bags annually and remove individual packaging from the slippers it provides to guests, eliminating 250,000 pieces of plastic packaging per year. Some of the line’s other measures will include replacing the five million small plastic food skewers it uses every year with wooden alternatives, eliminating 1.5 million plastic cocktail stirrers by replacing them with wooden stirrers, and giving crew coffee-to-go cups with bio-based, rather than petroleum-based, interior coatings and lids.

“At first, we focus primarily on measures in the hotel and gastronomy sector,” said Meier. “What quickly stands out here is that even supposedly small measures have a great effect.”

Read about other cruise and ferry operators who are going plastic-free here

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