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Pollution Prevention in the Cruise Ship Industry


The cruise industry is booming, rising from 4.8 million passengers in 1994 to a projected 8 million passengers by the year 20001.  Cruise ships, with their on-board theatres, shopping malls and many eateries, often sail into environmentally sensitive areas.  The goal of this project is to bring together various studies to quantify the amount of actual and potential pollution these 2,000 plus passenger vessels are discharging into their surrounding environment. This study found that there are over 37 million passenger cruise-days in one year and that each person on a cruise ship generates an average of 1.80 kg of solid waste each day.  The cruise industry is generating a projected 63,000 metric tons of solid waste each year.  This study also calculated the amount of air pollutants, liquid wastes and oily wastes generated each year.  The quantity of waste generated coupled with how and where the waste is being processed prior to disposal makes cruise ship waste management a salient issue.  There is an inherent problem with operating cruise ships in fragile, environmentally sensitive areas.

Wege Foundation
Research Areas
Mobility Systems