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Making A Difference – Six Simple Tips To Reduce Plastic Onboard Private Yacht Charter Vessels

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Drawing of red earth on white background with the saying plastic constitutes 90 per cent of all trash floating in the ocean



Back in April , we took a look at the problem of trash in luxury yacht charter marinas, and offered suggestions on things we can all do to make a difference in the fight to protect our natural resources and ultimate planetary health.  It’s always reassuring to know that our voice is just one of many, as evidenced by a wonderful article written by Angela Orecchio, a yacht stewardess, and author of the blog Savvy Stewardess.   Angela outlines six ideas that can help reduce plastic onboard yachts.

Much of what Angela suggests is particularly useful for people who own their own boats, and for bareboat yacht charter customers.  Perhaps you’re not a boat owner.  That’s ok – even guests onboard a fully-crewed private luxury yacht charter vessel will find some helpful ideas in Angela’s message.

Here’s a reprint of Angela’s story (with a few comments of our own):

Six simple ways to reduce plastic onboard

“While I care a great deal about the environment, I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to buying plastic items for convenience.

Plastic is a major issue for the environment. Ocean Crusaders says there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our ocean. It also has this startling fact: 1 million seabirds die from plastic. I also read that we have no idea how long it takes for all of the plastic we consume to fully break down.

Have you heard of the Great Garbage Patch floating in our ocean? It’s heartbreaking, yet there are things each of us can do daily to take care of the health of the planet.


This is the last resort of reducing plastic. But it’s important. Start by talking to the captain about setting up a recycling program that works onboard. Create the specifics of the program and hold a meeting/training about it. Ensure that everyone knows what to do and how important recycling is. Designate one crew member to be in charge of making sure the program is successful.

One way to start recycling is to have a “non-recycle” bin for usual trash, and then one set up for plastic, paper and other recyclables. Designate the removal and proper distribution of the recycling to the watch keeper as part of his/her end-of-night duties.

Double check on how and what to recycle as the yacht travels; it changes from place to place.  If the port or marina where the yacht is docked does not have a recycling bin, first talk to the captain to get permission to meet with the yacht’s agent, DPA or dockmaster. Work with them to help set up a recycling program.

If they cannot help, reach out to the nearest recycling center. Either it can provide a recycling bin or someone there can identify where the nearest one is. If it’s a trip away, then potentially, this can be a bulk run done by one of the crew members when they go out every few days.


A lot of boats still buy cases of bottled water. Ask the engineer how water is filtered on board. If no one is sure if it’s potable, buy a water test kit and check it.  If it’s not drinkable, get an external filter that sits under the sink in the crew mess and/or galley. Work with the engineer on what will work best for the boat.  Reusable plastic water bottles are a better option than one-time-use plastic. Still, they become worn after a short time. I prefer a glass bottle with a rubber sleeve, which prevents the bottle from breaking.

[1-800 Yacht Charters Comment: some bareboats, and almost all luxury yacht charter vessels, have state-of-the-art watermakers onboard, capable of generating hundreds of gallons of clean, fresh water during a charter vacation.  1-800 Yacht Charters offers reusable glass bottles in rubber sleeves to our charter clients, as a way to encourage them to forgo disposable plastic bottles during their vacation.]

Jana Sheeder sitting on the aft couch of a yacht in a marina

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT with Eco-Hero Reusable Tote Bag





Many countries no longer give out shopping bags at checkout for free. It is easy to build up a collection of long-lasting shopping bags. Just remember to put them back in the crew car or somewhere they won’t be forgotten. Reusable produce bags are great alternatives to the plastic ones found on the roll in the produce sections.

[1-800 Yacht Charters Comment: at the end of this blog we tell you how you can get a complimentary Eco-Hero tote bag. Read on!]



Most boats use Tupperware of some kind. This is a fantastic alternative to zip-top bags. Still, Tupperware tends to wear eventually, especially after being stained by food and multiple dishwasher runs. A great alternative to plastic Tupperware is glass or stainless steel. Many companies make durable glass Tupperware with lids that can go in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. While the lids are plastic, the base will last for many years.


Avoiding zip-top bags on a yacht can be quite tricky. They are so convenient and they don’t take up much room like rigid food containers. Still, they are plastic. Some alternatives are re-usable sandwich bags, stainless steel or glass containers, and muslin wrap.  If zip-top bags are a must, wash them out and reuse them. Get organized and designate one location for clean-but-used bags for less than sterile needs.

Logo for Skip the Straw and Save a Sea Turtle Project


Plastic one-use straws are easy to replace. There are so many alternatives out there, including metal, glass and multi-use plastic or silicone straws.”



Our thanks to Angela for doing her part to protect our oceans, and for spreading the word – we can all make a difference!



Are you an Eco-Hero?  Have you got any tips of your own on how you help protect our environment?  Share them with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary “Eco-Hero” reusable tote bag.  Email us at

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