The sister Carnival UK lines have also stated their intention to remove single use plastics from the hotel operations of ships by the end of 2022, as part of an overall environmental compliance plan.
This comes only one week after Royal Caribbean International boss Michael Bayley pledged to eliminate single use plastics from 38 combined ships, including all on-board operations of Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
When speaking to The Telegraph he said his strategy to abolish single use plastics was three-fold and will include all single use plastics used for food and beverage services, as well as reduction of single use plastics in everyday materials and operations.
Royal Caribbean International will also encourage its suppliers to follow suit and ditch single use plastics.
He said: “There are three elements to this – we want to eliminate single use, disposable plastic, such as straws and drinks bottles and reduce the amount of plastic in [the operations side of] the business – chairs, bags, staff belts and shoes for example.
“We want to influence our supply chain because we have to do this together.”
Cruise giants are responding to concerns raised by popular BBC programme, Blue Planet II which highlighted how plastic consumption is changing our oceans for the worse.
Carnival UK president John Weinstein commented: “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.
“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.”
The programme, which attracted audiences of 10.3 million, raised awareness by showing a mother wale carrying her dead calf, thought to have died after consuming the chemicals which plastic emits.
Single use plastics are problematic to the environment because they are only used once before they are thrown away or recycled.
The use of plastic straws has recently come under fire, as they are one of the biggest causes of debris and pollution in our oceans and are difficult to recycle.
An estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year, and plastic residues are routinely found in fish, seabirds and marine mammals living as far as seven miles beneath the sea.
It seems that cruise brands are ‘cleaning up their act’ and becoming more environmentally friendly, with Costa Cruises recent announcement that they are committed to halve food waste on ships by 2020.
The company, which is part of Carnival Corporation, revealed their new environmental programme this week after a successful pilot on its flagship Costa Diadema ship.
Others parts of the travel and tourism industry are also joining the campaign to reduce single use plastics, with London City Airport announcing their plans to ditch the use of plastic straws yesterday.