You’ve probably noticed a lot of stories in the news recently about restaurants eliminating plastic straws. I think we all realize that the fewer plastics used, the healthier our environment. But did you know that one of the leaders in eliminating plastics is the cruise industry?
Because of the pristine and sensitive ecosystems viewed on expedition cruises during Antarctica cruises and Arctic cruises, expedition cruise lines are particularly attuned to going that extra mile when it comes to reducing plastic usage on board.
In fact, just last week Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic announced that they have successfully completed a comprehensive single-use plastics elimination program across their fleet. Lindblad’s ships are now 100% free of all single-use plastic bottles, cups, straws and stirrers. The effort supports National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic? campaign, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness about the global plastic crisis and reducing the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans.
“The ocean is under major assault on so many fronts, and its protection is both a business mission and a personal passion,” stated Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, ocean advocate and founding member of Ocean Elders. “It is enormously gratifying that our team has achieved this milestone in our elimination program. The health of our planet is dependent on our oceans, and it is essential that we change our behavior regarding plastics.”
“Lindblad Expeditions has been a valued partner since 2004, when we first started working together to offer extraordinary expedition cruises to some of the world’s most fascinating places,” said Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners. “Our shared passion for adventure and conservation made our alliance a natural fit, and their tremendous effort to eradicate single-use plastic reaffirms that. We are proud that Lindblad is taking action to make a positive impact on this pressing problem, and we hope that their efforts inspire other travel companies to do the same.”
Lindblad Expeditions began working towards the elimination of avoidable plastic waste in 2007 when they banned single-use plastic water bottles. Instead, guests receive individual reusable stainless-steel bottles that may be refilled at filtered-water stations located around the vessels. Lindblad’s commitment continues as they work with suppliers and seek partners to eliminate and reduce plastic packaging for the items they supply.
We think Lindblad Expeditions deserves credit for going above and beyond what international regulations require and for its understanding that on any vacation, especially expeditions cruises, we should leave nothing behind but footprints. That’s all because Lindblad has built a global travel company with conservation and environmental stewardship as core business tenets. The company’s commitment to the places they explore includes more than $15 million to support stewardship efforts through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund (LEX-NG Fund), which awards approximately $1.5 million dollars in grants per year. In 2017 that funding supported initiatives in Alaska, Baja, Galapagos, the Peruvian Amazon, Cambodia, Antarctica, the Pacific Northwest, Central America and more through the Pristine Seas project, National Geographic’s largest initiative dedicated to environmental preservation. Initiatives included killer-whale research in Antarctica, artisan training in the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos, and conservation-based research projects to protect humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.
If you feel inspired to do the right thing as well, take the National Geographic pledge to reduce single-use plastics at nationalgeographic.com/planetorplastic.