Plastic straws, what are they good for? Absolutely nothing except polluting the environment. So it’s with open arms we welcome Royal Caribbean Cruises’ news that all 50 ships across its fleet will ring in 2019 free of plastic straws.

By the end of this year, plastic straws will be history onboard Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises, and Pullmantur Cruceros.

It’s all part of the group’s plastics elimination programs across all their brands.

Plastic in ocean

With over 100 million marine animals killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean, it’s a no-brainer to remove the synthetic material entirely from cruise ships.

As Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Richard Fain points out “healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company”.

“For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. Eliminating single-use plastics is another step in that program.”

Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Richard Fain

ocean-pollution-plastic-sealife

For over a year now, RCL ships have begun implementing a “straws upon request” policy. That program will be taken a step further by the start of 2019, when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper straw instead of a plastic one.

Passengers will also begin seeing Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of RCL’s plastic reduction strategy.

After straws, stirrers and picks, the company’s next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.

Well done Royal Caribbean Cruises in playing a part to get rid of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris floating in the ocean right now.

READ: #traveltochangetheworld: Royal Caribbean to eliminate plastics from its cruise ships

READ: SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL: The Travel Corporation to eliminate single-use plastic

What do you think of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ pledge? Let us know below.