How Can Ship’s Crew Contribute towards Reducing Garbage Production Onboard Ship?

Shipping is a money making business wherein each and every aspect can be put to make money. One can even make money from the garbage that a ship generates from its daily routine. The fact is that many port facilities charge heavily to accept garbage to their shore facility from ships as ships crew cannot dispose it of at high seas as per MARPOL rules and regulations.

The best way to reduce marine pollution by garbage is to eliminate the root cause of it i.e. waste production. But this is not practically possible as garbage is bound to generate from a normal ship and crew operation. Hence there has to be a different way which can reduce the garbage generation in its initial stages only.

A ship’s garbage comprises of food waste, dunnage, lining, packing materials, synthetic material, plastic, oil rags etc. They all fall under different criteria and regulations for disposing into the sea and at shore.

Garbage collection

It is important for a seafarer to be well aware of these regulations and garbage management plan of the ship so that he can easily collect, segregate, process, and dispose the garbage as per regulation under Annex V of MARPOL.

The following attempts by ship’s crew member can reduce unnecessary garbage generation and can also reduce the cost paid by the company to dispose off the garbage to shore facilities.

  • Food should be cooked appropriately and in adequate quantity as per persons onboard so that unnecessary wastage can be reduced.
  • Individual must not take excess food in their plate to avoid wastage.
  • Reusable packing and container must be used properly.
  • Whenever provisions or any equipment come onboard, ship’s crew must return the extra packing and plastics to the supplier immediately.
  • Dunnage, lining and packaging materials generated in port during cargo discharge should preferably be disposed off at the port reception facilities and not retained onboard for discharge at sea.
  • A water purifier can be installed in the drinking water system of the ship, which will reduce the plastic mineral water bottle consumption and thus the usage of plastic bottles.
  • Reusable bottles should be used for storage of water.
  • Disposable and other plastic utensils to be replaced with washable items.
  • A compactor can be used or bottles can be hand crushed and thrown into the provided bins as garbage charges are paid by unit of volume (m3) and not by weight.
  • Incinerator to be efficiently used and waste to be disposed by using it.
  • Always put the garbage in their allotted colour coded bins. If a single plastic is found in a bin full of paper, then the whole bin will treated and charged as plastic by most of the port authorities. This would cost unnecessary more money.

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