CRUISES see thousands of passengers and crew take to enormous cruise ships for weeks at a time. A huge amount of waste is produced during this time – but where does it all go? Is it simply dumped into the sea?
Cruise ships generate a lot of waste due to the thousands of people on board the vessels every day. Because they are on the move it is much harder for the ships to dispose of waste. A general belief is that these enormous boats simply dump raw sewage and other pollutants straight into the oceans. Indeed in 2016, Princess Cruises was fined a record £32 million for the “illegal dumping of oil-contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship,” according to the US Justice Department.
Sewage on a cruise ship includes wastewater from toilets, urinals, medical sinks and other similar facilities.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA): “Members agree to process all sewage through a sewage treatment system that is certified in accordance with international regulations, prior to discharge.
“For ships not using onshore reception facilities and travelling regularly on itineraries beyond the territorial water of coastal states, discharge is to take place only when the ship is more than four nautical miles from the nearest land and travelling at a speed of not less than six knots.”
Every ship has its own environment officer and crew are responsible for their own recycling.
CLIA claim cruise ships recycle far more per person at sea than the average person does on land.
A spokesperson for CLIA told Express.co.uk: “Cruise lines carefully follow waste management and recycling practices (link to Waste Management Policy) to prevent waste in oceans.
“Due to the efforts of highly trained waste management professionals onboard, some cruise ships repurpose 100 per cent of the waste generated onboard — by reducing, reusing, donating, recycling and converting waste into energy.
“Cruise ship waste management professionals recycle 60 per cent more waste per person than the average person recycles on shore each day.