Norwegian Cruise Lines will be harness the green power of environmental angst and celebrity endorsement in a bid to phase out single-use plastic bottles across their fleet by next year.
NCL which runs an international fleet of 16-ships says the initiative will reduce its use of over six million plastic bottles every year to zero.
In the place of plastic water bottles will be JUST water cartons. The cartons owned by 21-year-old rapper Jaden Smith, and son of Hollywood actor Will Smith, will bring a bit of celebrity to the green initiative.
"It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit," commented Norwegian CEO Andy Stuart, who said the partnership with JUST was one of his "proudest moments" in the role.
"While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future."
The newest ship Norwegian Encore will be the first ship to offer cartoned water to guests, when it is christened in November this year.
JUST water announced the partnership in a fashion befitting of a millennial-owned company in an Instagram post, showing a custom "Norwegian Cruise Line" carton.
Ira Laufer, the JUST CEO said "We're thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL." She said JUST's goal – like Norwegian's – is "to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so."
The JUST company makes cartons from 82 per cent renewable materials and was founded by Smith in July just last year. In the short time since the company has since been valued at $100m, making him the Refreshing Prince of bottled water.
While Jaden Smith has had a variety of showbiz careers in music and film, he insists that eco-friendly refreshments has been his calling. "It was going to be a lot easier to create a new water bottle company than a soda company," Smith told Fast Company. "And that's what I wanted to do, and I was like, 12 years old."
While there was some concern in the speed of growth affecting JUST's sustainability as a company, Smith was relaxed saying it does not affect it's original goal.
"Right now, we are growing in a really cool, in a really hip way in the world. But our competitors are, like so much bigger than us. It's crazy," he told Fast Company.
While Norwegian is proud of claiming this first, some have accused the JUST-NCL partnership to be 'greenwashing' with branded water.
Elsewhere climate campaigners are less happy with Norwegian's green credentials and the cruise industry in general.
In June the Friends of the Earth released its 2019 Cruise ship report card, on which Norwegian received a C-.
The damning report card took into account the credentials of 185 ships, looking at sewage treatment, air pollution, water compliance and transparency.
It found that cruising could be more harmful than any other form of travel.
A spokesperson for the cruise line told USA Today that this publication was "regrettable," calling the report "misleading and inaccurate."
"The measures used by the FOE are very narrow and do not tell the true story of the leadership position that the industry has taken in these areas."
Apart from Disney's DCL, which attained an A-, Norwegian received a much better score than the 14 other lines – rated D to F.
It might be greener than other cruise lines, but the FOE report shows that cartoned water is just a drop in the ocean in terms of what needs to be done.