NORTHERN MARINE CUTS USAGE OF
As part of an ongoing drive to achieve more sustainable and environmentally friendly operations, single-use (throw away) plastics have been removed from Northern Marine’s head office and are being phased out across the Company’s global fleet of managed vessels.
Measures have included the removal of plastic materials such as drinking cups, cutlery and garbage bags, while the purchase of small disposable water bottles has also ceased. Ships are currently creating inventories listing onboard single-use plastics in order to help them plan for an internal Company deadline on 1st April 2020 when 6 single-use plastic items including bottles, cutlery, straws and washing up bottles will be banned onboard. However, some vessels have taken early action.
“We all agree that the global usage of single-use plastics is having a negative effect on the environment, particularly in the oceans. The crew and I on the Stena President are all motivated to stop using single-use plastics onboard and, in line with Company expectations, we are taking measures to achieve this challenging goal. Single-use plastics are very convenient; however, with sustainable alternative solutions, teamwork and impetus, we can phase these out,” said Captain Vilim Anicic of the Stena President.
“We have already stopped using and ordering plastic cutlery, disposable water and coffee cups, small water bottles and plastic garbage bags and crew are encouraged to use ceramic mugs and glasses, paper recyclable garbage bags and to ask ship chandlers to avoid or reduce the use of plastic and non-environmental friendly / recyclable packaging,” he added.
Kenneth McConnell, Marine Compliance Director, Northern Marine, said: “The removal of single-use plastics is another step forward in our ongoing journey towards a more sustainable future. It has been heartening to hear initial positive feedback from employees, however we fully understand the convenience of single-use plastics, and we are therefore taking steps to minimise any impact on employee or office visitor satisfaction.”
BREAK DOWN TAKES 400 YEARS
During 2019, Northern Marine’s Alba and Scotia House offices alone, required approximately 4,000 plastic knives and forks, 53,000 oz plastic water cups and 49,000 plastic coffee cup lids.
“Plastic pollution is a defining challenge of our times. Single-use throw-away plastics are the biggest contributor to marine pollution, with millions of plastic bags ending up in the environment, thus polluting soil, rivers and oceans. They break down extremely slowly in the marine environment, taking in excess of 400 years. These plastics originate from many sources and causes a wide spectrum of environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. For example, marine litter can cause harm to sea-life if ingested or even death if a marine mammal becomes entangled in litter. The United Nation Environmental Agency estimates that 15 per cent of these plastics float on the sea’s surface, 15 per cent remains in the water column and 70 per cent rests on the seabed,” said Ko Ko Naing, Head of HSEQ, Northern Marine.
“We as a consumer need to stop buying and using products made up of single-use plastic. This would trigger the supply chain to amend their practices, encouraging them to pack and transport their products in an environmentally friendly way. So, Let’s act now and do something to help our planet,” he continued.
Countries are also taking a firmer stance on single-use plastics, with the Kuwaiti Government and the Indian Government introducing regulations against the usage of single-use plastics on ships in their waters (Kuwait) or ports (India). It is expected that many other countries will follow the same path as both countries.
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