Norwegian expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten bans single-use plastic from all ships

Posted in News on 26 April, 2018

Hurtigruten, the world’s biggest expedition cruise operator, has announced a ban on all unnecessary single-use plastic by 2nd July 2018.  Everything from plastic straws, drink mixers, plastic glasses, coffee lids and plastic bags will be removed from all Hurtigruten ships. The goal is to become the words first plastic free cruise company.

“At Hurtigruten, we have focused on the problem with plastic pollution for years. There is a lot of talk about the impact plastic has on our oceans. But it’s time to take action. By getting rid of single-use plastic on board all ships already by this summer, we will hopefully get others to follow. It is possible to act now, and the oceans do not deserve more hesitation, “Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s message is clear: All unnecessary single-use plastic will be removed company-wide by 2nd July 2018. 

This means that plastic straws are replaced by metal straws, stir pins will no longer be used – the same goes for glasses wrapped in plastic, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, plastic lids on coffee cups, plastic toothpicks, plastic aprons, single-use packaging of butter and all other single-use plastic items that Hurtigruten’s 400,000 guests and 2,500 employees encounter on a day to day basis.

“Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat our oceans. Hurtigruten operates in some of the most vulnerable areas in the world. This means that we carry a special responsibility to protect these areas for the local population and future generations of explorers. Every year, Hurtigruten guests and employees cleans tons of plastic from beaches in the areas we operate. We witness the plastic pollution problem on a daily basis,” Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s single use plastics ban will be effective across its entire fleet of custom build expedition vessels – both operating on the legendary Norwegian Coastal Route, as well as expedition cruises from pole to pole. The single-use plastic ban will also be imposed on the hotels, restaurants and other establishments of Hurtigruten’s land based operations on Svalbard, operated by its fully owned subsidiary Hurtigruten Svalbard.

In addition to the internal plastic ban, Hurtigruten is challenging all its suppliers to reduce and cut the use of plastic.

“No one can win the war on plastic alone without allies. This is why we implement high demands on our suppliers. Our goal is to become the world’s first plastic free shipping company. This is our first step,” Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s single use plastic ban comes just a few days after announcing the largest environmental upgrade in the company’s 125 years of history. Up to nine of Hurtigruten’s ships will be retrofitted to LNG- and battery propulsion.


Examples of Hurtigruten’s plastic ban:

Straws in bars and restaurants

Annual consumption: 960,000 pieces

Weight: appx. 2.800 kg (6200 lbs)


Plastic glasses

Annual consumption: 390,000 pieces

Weight: appx. 5000 kg (11.000 lbs)


Single-use packages of butter

Annual consumption: 826,000 pieces

Weight: appx. 826 kg (1.800 lbs)


Plastic aprons

Weight: 4.300 kg (9.500 lbs)

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