NEWS: Cruise 'introduces changes'

Around 30 million fewer items are now used on TUI Cruises as the firm looks at banning single-use water bottles from cabins in the future.

The holiday firm introduced a plastic reduction program last year on the Mein Schiff fleet and bosses are now planning to eliminate all plastic and other single-use products by the end of 2020 - or replace them with 'alternative products made from renewable or sustainable raw materials'. Passengers are now offered wooden cocktail stirrers and straws made from sugar cane or glass.

Morning newspapers ordered by passengers are no longer delivered to the cabin door in a plastic wrapping - instead hung on the door handle with recyclable hemp string.

In the ships’ shops, all plastic bags have been eliminated and replaced with beach bags made from recycled PET or recyclable jute bags.

For the chefs TUI Cruises has replaced plastic aprons with cotton aprons - saving 1.5 million single-use plastic aprons a year.

Crew members now enjoy their coffee-to-go exclusively with reusable coffee cups that can be returned.

Lucienne Damm, Senior Environmental Manager at TUI Cruises. said: "These are just some of the measures our guests will come across every day.

"However, we have also taken a close look behind the scenes and identified potential for saving plastic or replacing it with alternative materials.

Mein Schiff 2 is currently carrying out a pilot with stainless steel bottles. Guests can buy the bottles for 9.90 euros and refill them free of charge throughout the cruise with water from water dispensers.

Lucienne added:"Of course, we continue to provide glass jugs in each cabin. However, we wanted to offer our guests the additional opportunity of taking water along on their excursions and save plastic bottles."

The pilot will run until mid-December. The cruise line will then decide whether to launch the bottles across its fleet.

The list of single-use plastic items to be replaced within the next few months includes single-portion nut nougat spread, disposable rain ponchos, plastic pens and the use of plastic film on board. 

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