Hurtigruten is to ban all unnecessary single-use plastic by July 2.

Everything from plastic straws, drink mixers, plastic glasses, coffee lids and plastic bags will be removed from all ships in the fleet.

The aim is for the expedition line to become the world’s first plastic-free cruise company.

Plastic straws are to be 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 passengers and 2,500 employees encounter on a day to day basis.

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 ships will be retro-fitted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and battery propulsion.

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.

Chief executive, Daniel Skjeldam, said: “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 clean tons of plastic from beaches in the areas we operate. We witness the plastic pollution problem on a daily basis.”

Hurtigruten is also challenging all its suppliers to reduce and cut the use of plastic.

Skjeldam said: “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.”

He added: “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