Cruise line industry ‘wakes up’ to environmental pollution

The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) has sought to assure the public that recent violations of environmental laws by its members have acted as a 'wake-up call' to the industry. Royal Caribbean International, an ICCL member, was fined $18 million in July for the illegal dumping of oil and hazardous chemicals in six US districts.

ICCL has also been keen to emphasise that court action against its members is proof that “the international cruise industry is strictly accountable to US environmental enforcement agencies”. The association points out that the International Maritime Organisation’s regulations provide the industry with international environmental standards.

“Despite what people like to say, that we’re unregulated and outside the law, that isn’t the case,” Bridget Ann Serchak of ICCL told edie. Sherchak referred to the high level set for the Royal Caribbean fine (see related story) as proof that the industry is heavily regulated.

Speaking with edie, an IMO spokesperson confirmed that international regulations are policed by member states and therefore enforcement does vary: “IMO sets the standards, but it is up to IMO-member states to enforce them”. IMO is part of the United Nations.

According to ICCL, the cruise industry has installed equipment to comply with environmental legislation. These include:

  • grinders for food and product waste
  • separators for galley products and recycling
  • crushers for glass, aluminium and cardboard
  • incinerators for food, cardboard, paper and other waste
  • engine-room equipment to reduce or eliminate liquid discharge

Member cruises lines of ICCL include:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Commodore Cruise Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard Line Limited
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Premier Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regal Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Royal Olympic Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Windstar Cruises

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