The cruise industry should shine as maritime’s beacon for robust environmental stewardship, given its visibility, growth and plentiful coffers, ecologists say.
Instead, Stand.earth senior shipping campaigner Kendra Ulrich says the consumer-facing sector continues to fall short, led by behemoth Carnival Corp.
“This cruise industry giant sets the standard for the rest of the sector,” she tells TradeWinds. “While Carnival likes to tout its clean credentials, its track record simply does not support this.”
“Stand.earth does not view Carnival as a bad actor, but rather a company whose environmental policies are failing to uphold its own core values,” Ulrich says. “We believe that this company could be a powerful force to move the sector towards clean cruising and sustainability.”
Clean Arctic Alliance advisor Eelco Leemans says today’s cruiseships collect their solid waste for onshore disposal because the IMO had banned dumping it at sea.
“And if anyone would witness dumping by a cruiseship, this would be extremely bad publicity,” he tells TradeWinds.
However, Leemans says he is not sure what cruiseships do with their incinerated waste and Caribbean islands receive enormous amounts of waste that end up in the ocean.
“The smaller cruise companies take passengers to remote beaches to see wildlife and then encourage passengers to take beach litter back onboard,” he says. “This does not apply to the large cruiseships.”