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Elimination of employee generated single use plastic

TechnipFMC Marine Operations Services (TMOS) won the inaugural IMCA Environmental Sustainability Award with their plan to eliminate employee generated single use plastics from their facilities and vessels by end of year 2018.  This objective was fully in line with their commitment to minimisw environmental impact through reduction of company carbon footprint.

The main onshore offices have eliminated single use plastics from their sites and the focus has moved to smaller satellite sites.  Most vessels have changed out plastic water bottles with drinking fountains whilst others are still in the process of getting them fitted.  The money saved from not having to purchase water bottles is used to fund the installation of the water fountains.

One of TMOS’s vessel masters noted the following, which demonstrates the “buy in” from personnel: “I am a firm believer that we should abandon the use of single use plastic bottles.  I spent many years on vessels where the management and condition of the drinking water systems left a lot to be desired.  However, with the infrastructure and testing regimes in place, I am sure that we are in a good place to carry on the good work already started on board here”

What was done?

Means were identified of creating a quantifiable decrease in the use of plastic across the fleet, including plastic beverage bottles, cups, plates, utensils and food storage containers.

  • Each facility and vessel developed a customised or tailored approach; each vessel modifying its catering service, vending machine and direct purchase usage of the target single use plastic items;
  • The initiative was rolled out via Safety Committee Meetings;
  • There was full engagement from personnel in the fleet;
  • Educational information was provided for display on board;
  • Progress was communicated via internal quarterly environmental newsletter.

How did the improvement come about?

  • Water bottles:
    • some vessels are already using reusable bottles and have installed water dispensers while others are at procurement stage
    • an amount of plastic water bottles will be held on the vessel for use in hot climates or by contractors;
  • Barrier tape:
    • most vessels now have reusable barrier chains available on vessels, or nylon or retractable belt systems;
Example of barrier type
  • Boot covers:
    • most vessels are still investigating alternatives such as use of absorbent protective floor covering in hallways or high traffic areas, and washable boot covers.
Washable boot covers

What were some of the challenges?

  • When the vessel is working in hot climates, getting chilled potable water in quantity to the workforce in such areas such as the pipelay tower;
  • There will always be reluctance from some crew members regarding the quality of supplied potable water (as distinct from bottled water). It would be the task of the onboard management team to help alleviate these concerns by demonstrating water testing and if required, performing in depth surveys of the potable water system.

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA ESB 01/19

IMCA Contact

Nicholas Hough
Consultant - Safety and Security

Information Note Details

Published date: 7 March 2019
Information note ID: 1432


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