Cruise ship powerhouse makes significant pledge on plastic pollution

  • A number of big businesses are looking to reduce, or eliminate entirely, their plastic usage.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is to eliminate single-use plastic straws across its fleet of 26 ships.
The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Norwegian Bliss ship sits docked at the Ogden Point Cruise Terminal in British Columbia, Canada. 
James MacDonald | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Norwegian Bliss ship sits docked at the Ogden Point Cruise Terminal in British Columbia, Canada. 

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is to eliminate single-use plastic straws across its fleet of 26 ships, making it the latest big business looking to tackle the issue of plastic pollution.

The company will also ban single-use plastic straws at its two island destinations, Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye, in the Bahamas and Belize respectively.

The changes will help the firm to get rid of more than 50 million straws every year across its fleet, it said in an announcement Monday.

"Eliminating single-use plastic straws across our global fleet and island destinations builds on our global environmental program 'Sail & Sustain' and further reduces our environmental footprint," Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' president and CEO, said in a statement.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises brands, which offer itineraries to over 450 destinations around the world.

The company is also a member of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas Alliance. Established in 2012, members of the alliance include businesses such as Walmart, Danone, Bank of America and PepsiCo. Ocean Conservancy is a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization.

According to Ocean Conservancy, members of the alliance seek to "reduce and, where possible, reinvent products and services that damage ocean wildlife or ecosystems."

A number of big businesses are looking to reduce, or eliminate entirely, their plastic usage. At the beginning of July, for example, Starbucks laid out plans for eliminating single-use plastic straws from all of its coffee shops by 2020.

In June, McDonald's said it would move away from using plastic straws in its U.K. and Ireland restaurants. The business said a phased roll-out of paper straws at all 1,361 of its sites in the two countries would begin in September and be completed by 2019.