Namely, the Chamber along with its members, goal to boost companies to ban the use of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021 and help protect the environment, since the guide notes that "the industry is and must remain vigilant to the significant threat that Marine Plastic Litter (MPL) poses to life in the ocean and on the economic activity of the industry."

According to a recent research, around 80% of plastic enters the marine environment from land-based sources, especially through rivers.

Due to the plastic debris at the oceans, every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic waste.

In light of the above, the new Single-Use Plastic Charter aim to develop initiatives and replace nonessential single-use plastics as soon as possible, but no later than 31 December 2021.

In addition, the initiative commits to ban single-use plastics, which focuses on the exclusion of plastic straws, coffee/tea stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds.

The 'Best Practice' guide issued five priority actions the industry could follow to protect its oceans. Accordingly:

  1. Request the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101) to consider the establishment of a compulsory system of formatted declarations of the loss of containers and the means on board to easily
    identify the exact number of losses; and also, consider establishing an obligation to report through a standardized procedure the loss of containers. It was also to consider which sub-committee(s) could progress this matter further.
  2. Continue to encourage Parties to MARPOL Annex V to implement their obligations to provide adequate facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of garbage.
  3. Encourage Member States and international organizations that have conducted any scientific research related to marine litter to share the results of such research, including any information
    on the areas contaminated by marine plastic litter from ships.
  4. Invite Member States and international organizations to undertake studies to better understand microplastics from ships.
  5. Continue to work with other United Nations bodies and agencies, as well as with international fora, active in the matters of marine plastic litter from shipping, including through the Global
    Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML)

Currently, 29 industry companies have inked the Single-Use Plastic Charter and are pledged to go beyond the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) work in this area.

By bringing together 29 companies we have demonstrated the commitment of the shipping industry to develop greener, more sustainable practices. There are numerous alternatives to single-use plastics and by adopting this charter these companies are showing their determination to protect the oceans for future generations.

...UK Chamber of Shipping Policy Advisor, Environment, Michael Igoe said.

What is more, the charter aims to help the industry be part of the circular economy, and where applicable create cultural change to both passengers and seafarers’ attitudes towards single-use plastic.

This commitment by members of the shipping industry to ban single-use plastics shows how important the sector takes its environmental responsibilities. It is huge credit that the UK Chamber of Shipping has managed to bring the industry together and create this Charter. This vitally important step will help to protect both sea life and our oceans for years to come.

...Chair of the UK Chamber’s Safety and Environment Committee and Senior Vice-President of Maritime Affairs at Carnival Corp & plc Tom Strang, concluded.

To learn more about the Best Practice on combating Single-Use Plastic in Shipping click on the guide herebelow

Best practice on combating single-use plastic in shipping