Single-use plastic straws are to be withdrawn across all 50 ships across Royal Caribbean Cruises brands by the end of the year.

The move is a first step towards to a comprehensive plastics elimination across Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Tui Cruises and Pullmantur.

A “straws upon request” policy running for more than a year will see paper straws replacing plastic versions by early next year.

Passengers will start to see Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of the company’s plastic reduction strategy.

The focus will then switch to 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.

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company.

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