As Dubai forges ahead with its sustainability initiatives, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line, both of which are cruise brands owned by Carnival Corporation, have announced a commitment to remove single use plastics from the hotel operation on their ships by the end of 2022.
The initiative is part of their overall environmental compliance plan, which Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein says needs to go further than simply recycling aboard their cruise ships.
“Whilst we have stringent regulations and procedures on board our ships for recycling, we need to go to the source of the supply chain to encourage changes to packaging and remove single use plastic products from our hotel operation,” he said in a statement.
“We are in discussions with our suppliers to try to influence the removal of single use plastic in products such as straws, water bottles and food packaging wherever possible, as well as reviewing our wider sourcing strategy of the most environmentally friendly products across the board,” he added.
P&O Cruises and Cunard Line management appear to have been motivated to do more by the release of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, which revealed the harrowing affect that plastic waste has on the world’s oceans.
“Programmes such as Blue Planet have shone a light on the impact plastic can have on our seas and it is our responsibility, as an ocean-going cruise line, to take action now, however many hurdles we have to face along the way,” said Weinstein.
The Carnival UK president added that he sees it as the cruise company’s duty to take action to secure its future.
“The ocean is a fundamental part of our business but more importantly its preservation and that of the surrounding shores is critical for our future and that of future generations. We, as well as our guests, have a duty to respect and protect it as part of our wider environmental protection,” he said.
The second XL class ship for P&O Cruises, which is fully powered by LNG and one of the most environmentally advanced ships in the world, and the new Cunard ship will be launched in 2022 and will be the latest iteration in the cruise industry’s attempt to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.
The announcement comes ahead of P&O Cruises first ever cruise season in the Arabian Gulf, with roundtrip Dubai cruises scheduled for January, 2019 aboard Oceana, which will also undergo a refit aimed at making her more environmentally-friendly before she is deployed in the Middle East.
P&O’s sustainability goals tie in well with those of Dubai itself, which has one of the highest carbon footprints in the world on a per capita basis, but has made progress in recent years to develop recycling and clean energy sources. It is also experimenting with cloud-seeding as a means to provide a water source apart from desalination.
Dubai wants to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world by 2050, according to the government’s Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.