Carnival Cruise Line becomes the first major cruise line to employ bio-digesters across its entire fleet. The bio-digesters allow Carnival cruise ships to process food waste onboard the vessel. The remaining waste is lawfully discharged.
Carnival has deployed more than 200 biodigesters across its fleet in a move to lower its environmental impact and reduce food waste.
Carnival Employs Bio-Digesters Fleetwide
Carnival Cruise Line celebrated Earth Day by highlighting its environmental initiatives and announcing the fleetwide deployment of more than 200 biodigesters on their 23 ships.
With the announcement, Carnival is the first major cruise line to deploy biodigesters on all ships in their fleet.
“Earth Day is a great opportunity to recognize our efforts toward a more sustainable future, and making the process of discarding food waste significantly more environmentally-friendly is a big step in that mission”Richard Pruitt, vice president of environmental operations at Carnival Cruise Line
A bio-digester is an enclosed container that accelerates food decomposition into a liquid. The process uses microorganisms, oxygen, and warm water to break down 99% of the food. The remainder is a fine, silt-like material.
The remaining organic matter can be safely discharged without causing environmental harm.
BioHiTech America, a Renovare Environmental Company, is the supplier of these devices for Carnival’s fleet. The company estimates that its devices can reduce up to 94 million pounds of food waste by the end of 2022.
On Carnival’s newest and largest cruise ship, Mardi Gras, the 14 equipped digesters can process nearly 142,000 pounds of food waste every week.
“We are proud to have teamed with Carnival Cruise Line on a successful path towards food waste reduction, efficient and safe disposal methods, and the associated beneficial environmental outcome,”Emily F. Dyson, vice president of science, research and development for Renovare Environmental
Ahead of the Curve
Without the digesters, millions of pounds of food waste would be discharged into the oceans. Current maritime laws do not require food waste to be processed before it is discharged.
Ships can legally discharge food waste within 12 nautical miles from land, or 3 nautical miles if the waste is ground down.
However, even ground food waste poses the potential for harming the environment.
Carnival’s use of bio-digesters is ahead of industry standards. Additionally, the devices allow for greater efficiency for crew members to manage food waste. The new initiative continues the cruise line’s history of environmental innovation.
The cruise line’s parent company, Carnival Corp, launched the first liquified natural gas (LNG) powered cruise ship. LNG technology burns cleaner than traditional diesel engines and results in up to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Carnival’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, became the first LNG-powered cruise ship in North America on her debut in 2021. The ship will be joined by her two LNG-powered sister ships – Carnival Celebration in the fall of 2022, and Carnival Jubilee in 2023.