Cruise Ships have an ongoing problem – in fact all shipping fleets, large and small, have a similar issue. What do ships do with the waste generated on board whilst at sea?
A general belief is that these boats simply dump raw sewage and other pollutants straight into the oceans. In reality, anything which is discharged into the sea must go through rigorous treatment first to prevent waste in oceans.
Big shipping lines spend huge amounts of money on trying to manage waste effectively. However, the basic fact remains – the more people – the bigger the problem!
With huge amounts of sewage, grey water, food waste, sulphides from exhaust gases, bilge water and more, cruise ship waste is a big issue, exacerbated by the amount of people on board. The all inclusive 'free food' option on cruise ships often results in a reduced accountability as to how much is wasted, this is true for both guests and staff.
FACTS AND FIGURES
The average cruise ship produces between 140,000 and 210,000 gallons of sewage per week and pumps this into the ocean - about 10 backyard swimming pools’ worth (Environmental Protection Agency).
One vessel in an EPA study produced 74,000 gallons of sewage in a single day.
Princess Cruises was fined £32 million in 2016 for the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water.
Carnival was fined £15.7 million in 2019 for disposing of plastic waste in the ocean.