TUI Cruises has already reduced its use of plastic by 30 million items annually aboard its ships since introducing plastic reduction program last fall, according to a company statement.
By the end of 2020, TUI said it wants to dispense with all plastic and other disposable products or replace them with alternatives from renewable and sustainable raw materials.
The measures implemented so far are said to cover all areas onboard — in particular hotel and food and beverage.
New straws are made of sugar cane or glass; the wooden cocktail stirrers and plastic skewers are completely gone.
Newspapers are no longer delivered in plastic bags, but hang on reusable hemp ropes on the cabin door.
Plastic bags are also gone in the onboard shops. My ship beach bags are provided made of recycled PET or reusable Mein Schiff bags are issued exclusively.
Also, a fleet-wide introduction of butter dispensers promises to save 10 million single-portion packages in the future.
“These are just some of the actions our guest see every day. But we have also looked behind the scenes and found potential to save plastic or replace it with other alternatives,” said Lucienne Damm, senior environmental manager. An example of this are the chefs’ aprons, which are now all made of cotton, saving an estimated 1.5 million disposable plastic aprons annually. The crew drink coffee-to-go only from reusable cups
“With 30 million plastic disposable items saved so far, we can look back on a very successful first wasteless. And we still have a lot in the 2020 program,” added Damm.
Disposable water bottles are now banned from cabins as a test run with stainless steel bottles is currently underway aboard the Mein Schiff 2. Guests can buy these for 9.90 euros each and then refill with the free water from the water dispensers. The test phase runs until mid-December, after which it will be decided whether the bottles will be introduced throughout the fleet.
The list of disposable plastic products to be replaced in the coming months is long: single-serving nut nougat cream, disposable rain ponchos, plastic pens and the use of plastic protective film onboard.
“We are working closely with our service providers — together we are looking for sustainable alternative products,” Damm said.
TUI Cruises’ program is part of the TUI Group’s overall goal of saving 250 million disposable plastic products by 2020. Together with more than 100 other signatories, the TUI Group has committed itself to the “International Tourism Plastic Pledge” to develop a concrete plan to reduce the use of plastic and avoid plastic waste in holiday destinations.