Time for Cruise Lines to Ditch Plastic Straws

All aboard the cruise ship! Yes, those gigantic monoliths, full of fun and parties that ferry passengers from one warm vacation spot to the next. Unfortunately, these floating resort cities have an ugly side to them: plastic waste, and it’s worse than we thought. 

Cruise ships have an uphill battle against plastic waste, but there are plenty of steps they can take to get the momentum going. For starters, how about ditching plastic straws, and only using paper straws? As cruise ships regularly sail through ecosystems of threatened marine animals, this seems like the biggest no-brainer. We at OkStraw challenge these cruise lines to ditch plastic straws once and for all.

Plastic Waste Behemoths

Modern cruise ships are notorious trash generators. Not only do they dump trash and plastic waste, but they also dump grease, oil and sewage. This waste causes tremendous harm to the oceans, because water currents carry it over long distances.


Recently, Carnival Cruise agreed to pay a $20 million fine for illegally dumping waste out at sea. The cruise line allegedly threw massive amounts of plastic waste overboard while in the Bahamas. The damage Carnival Cruise caused to marine life has yet to be seen, but it is likely massive.

Cruise Away from Plastic Straws

Why should we care so much about cruise ships dumping plastic straws, though? Because they are most directly responsible for plastic polluting our oceans. Cruise ships bypass landfills, storm drains, beaches, and dump plastic directly into oceans. There are no landfills out at sea, so cruise ships treat oceans like them.

If you’re the only defense between a plastic straw and a sea turtle, then you’re responsible for that turtle. As a passenger, you can’t rely on the cruise ship to properly dispose of your used plastic straw. If you threw that plastic straw away, then chances are it could go overboard and into the ocean.

Make the Change to Paper Straws

How can cruise lines prevent plastic straws from entering the ocean? Stop using them altogether. Cruise lines need to cut out plastic straws entirely, and use paper straws instead. If the cruise lines won’t change, then there is another way. Passengers need to refuse plastic straws, and bring their own paper straws, instead. 


Cruise ships are the most direct place where switching from plastic straws to paper straws makes all the difference. People should properly dispose of or recycle paper straws, but that doesn’t always happen. When a paper straw goes overboard, it won’t harm marine animals. Paper straws biodegrade, plastic straws do not, so using paper straws is a great failsafe. With so many high quality choices from companies like OkStraw, it’s time for cruise lines to get onboard with the Cause Paper Straws.

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