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Seems they'll have a 5p charge on them, but will that make a difference? From news reports it seems plastic bags aren't the only problem, but plastic packaging etc, all being thrown away and finding it's way into our oceans and ultimately into the food chain.

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They need to go back to paper bags, like Primark, that fall apart as soon as you leave the shop. That will also help in deforestation for paper production.

 

I should imagine this will turn out to be just another green tax for the government coffers on what is another arm of the petro chemical industry.

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Thought as a sea going person, you would know Asp ! Evidently they aren't all going to landfill Asp, but into rivers and into the sea, as any walk along a beach would tell us. But there is a debate about the amount of landfill being required, due to are heavy commitment to waste, so much so, that landfill taxes have been imposed on local authorities (which means on us) to reduce it. However, it doesn't help if the retail and packaging industry continue to bombard us with excess food offers and excess packaging.

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I should imagine this will turn out to be just another green tax for the government coffers on what is another arm of the petro chemical industry.

Aren't the proceeds being put into charities?

 

I , for one , am really worried.  How the hell can anyone expect me to remember to take my reusable bags to the shops with me? In effect the Government are going to fine me 5p if I am stupid enough not to bring the bags I already own.   The world has gone mad.

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Get a couple of those fold up type bags and put them in the glove compartment of the car. That way if you are shopping you have two all the time, provided you remember to put them back when you have used them. You can also get hold of those thin bags that pack away into a small pouch that you can hang from a belt loop or fit into an inside pocket. Handy for local shops within walking distance. (always providing you remeber you have got them of course) :lol:

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If I don't get the carrier bags what am I going to use for bin liners etc. this is really going to have a massive impact on either my quality of life or my finances ????

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Thought as a sea going person, you would know Asp ! Evidently they aren't all going to landfill Asp, but into rivers and into the sea, as any walk along a beach would tell us. But there is a debate about the amount of landfill being required, due to are heavy commitment to waste, so much so, that landfill taxes have been imposed on local authorities (which means on us) to reduce it. However, it doesn't help if the retail and packaging industry continue to bombard us with excess food offers and excess packaging.

As a sea going person I can tell you there is very little garbage to be seen on the seas around our coasts. We have to follow stringent regulations that detail exactly what we allowed to dump at sea and how far from the coast we are allowed to do it, and if any garbage is dumped at sea it must be documented.So stringent in fact that it is easiest to put all garbage in bags and land them at the next port into the garbage facilities that each port must provide (and for which we get charged whether or not we use them). We also have to get receipts for the garbage we land and, when we have one of many frequent inspections, if we are judged to have not landed as much garbage as we should be expected to, can be fined or worse.I can't speak for you landlubbers though, as a walk along any street in our fair town will show what a load of litter louts you all are!! :lol: :lol:

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Well Asp, all the news reports showed plastics in the sea, and were saying that it breaks down into tiny pieces, which can then be consumed by prawns etc, thus entering the food chain. Scientists are now looking into the effects of human consumption further up the chain.

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Don't let facts get in the way of your prejudices PJ. The MARPOL regulations, which were introduced between 1983 and 2005, severely restrict the discharge of pollutants from ships using internationally binding legislation. The regulations cover oil, chemicals, packaged noxious substances, garbage, sewage and air pollution. I addition it is estimated that 50% of oil in the oceans comes from natural seepage from the seabed. As for the seas of plastic in the oceans, how much of it is tesco shopping bags? Very little to none at all would be my guess. I did read that an inordinate percentage of it was discarded plastic throwaway cigarette lighters! Ban smoking and save the oceans!!

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Don't let facts get in the way of your prejudices. it is estimated that 50% of oil in the oceans comes from natural seepage from the seabed. 

  

So..........  where does the other half come from?

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Don't let facts get in the way of your prejudices PJ. As for the seas of plastic in the oceans, how much of it is tesco shopping bags? Very little to none at all would be my guess. 

I never , at any stage , suggested it was.

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yes, like I suspected, butterfly farts and fairy dust, oh! and a few  nasties

 

 

Ballast water[edit]

Ballast water discharges by ships can have a negative impact on the marine environment.

Cruise ships, large tankers, and bulk cargo carriers use a huge amount of ballast water, which is often taken on in the coastal waters in one region after ships discharge wastewater or unload cargo, and discharged at the next port of call, wherever more cargo is loaded. Ballast water discharge typically contains a variety of biological materials, including plantsanimalsviruses, and bacteria. These materials often include non-native, nuisance, invasive, exotic species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems along with serious human health problems.

Sound pollution[edit]

Noise pollution caused by shipping and other human enterprises has increased in recent history.[5] The noise produced by ships can travel long distances, and marine species who may rely on sound for their orientation, communication, and feeding, can be harmed by this sound pollution[6][7]

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species has identified ocean noise as a potential threat to marine life.[8]

Wildlife collisions[edit]

Marine mammals, such a whales and manatees, risk being struck by ships, causing injury and death. For example, if a ship is traveling at a speed of only 15 knots, there is a 79 percent chance of a collision being lethal to a whale.[9]

One notable example of the impact of ship collisions is the endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which 400 or less remain. The greatest danger to the North Atlantic right whale is injury sustained from ship strikes.[9] Between 1970 and 1999, 35.5 percent of recorded deaths were attributed to collisions.[10] During 1999 to 2003, incidents of mortality and serious injury attributed to ship strikes averaged one per year. In 2004 to 2006, that number increased to 2.6.[11] Deaths from collisions has become an extinction threat.[12]

Atmospheric pollution[edit]

Exhaust gases from ships are considered to be a significant source of air pollution, both for conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases.

There is a perception that cargo transport by ship is low in air pollutants, because for equal weight and distance it is the most efficient transport method, according to shipping researcher Amy Bows-Larkin.[13] This is particularly true in comparison to air freight; however, because sea shipment accounts for far more annual tonnage and the distances are often large, shipping's emissions are globally substantial.[13] A difficulty is that the year-on-year increasing amount shipping overwhelms gains in efficiency, such as from slow-steaming or the use of kites. The growth in tonne-kilometers of sea shipment has averaged 4 percent yearly since the 1990s.[14] and it has grown by a factor of 5 since the 1970s.[13] There are now over 100,000 transport ships at sea, of which about 6,000 are large container ships.[13]

Conventional pollutants[edit]

Of total global air emissions, shipping accounts for 18 to 30 percent of the nitrogen oxide and 9 percent of the sulphur oxides.[15] [16] Sulfur in the air creates acid rain which damages crops and buildings. When inhaled the sulfur is known to cause respiratory problems and even increases the risk of a heart attack.[17] According to Irene Blooming, a spokeswoman for the European environmental coalition Seas at Risk, the fuel used in oil tankers and container ships is high in sulfur and cheaper to buy compared to the fuel used for domestic land use. "A ship lets out around 50 times more sulfur than a lorry per metric tonne of cargo carried."[17] Cities in the U.S. like Long BeachLos AngelesHoustonGalveston, and Pittsburgh see some of the heaviest shipping traffic in the nation and have left local officials desperately trying to clean up the air.[18] Increasing trade between the U.S. and China is helping to increase the number of vessels navigating the Pacific and exacerbating many of the environmental problems. To maintain the level of growth China is experiencing, large amounts of grain are being shipped to China by the boat load. The number of voyages are expected to continue increasing.[19]

Greenhouse gas pollutants[edit]

3.5 to 4 percent of all climate change emissions are caused by shipping.[16] Air pollution from cruise ships is generated by diesel engines that burn high sulfur content fuel oil, also known as bunker oil, producing sulfur dioxidenitrogen oxide and particulate, in addition to carbon monoxidecarbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons. Diesel exhaust has been classified by EPA as a likely human carcinogen. EPA recognizes that these emissions from marine diesel engines contribute to ozone and carbon monoxide non-attainment (i.e., failure to meet air quality standards), as well as adverse health effects associated with ambient concentrations of particulate matter and visibility, hazeacid deposition, and eutrophication and nitrification of water.[20] EPA estimates that large marine diesel engines accounted for about 1.6 percent of mobile source nitrogen oxide emissions and 2.8 percent of mobile source particulate emissions in the United States in 2000. Contributions of marine diesel engines can be higher on a port-specific basis. Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is a standard for defining diesel fuel with substantially lowered sulfur contents. As of 2006, almost all of the petroleum-based diesel fuel available in Europe and North America is of a ULSD type.

As one way to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, vetting agency RightShip developed an online "Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Rating" as a systematic way for the industry to compare a ship’s CO2 emissions with peer vessels of a similar size and type. Based on the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) that applies to ships built from 2013, RightShip's GHG Rating can also be applied to vessels built prior to 2013, allowing for effective vessel comparison across the world's fleet. The GHG Rating utilises an A to G scale, where A represents the most efficient ships. It measures the theoretical amount of carbon dioxide emitted per tonne nautical mile travelled, based on the design characteristics of the ship at time of build such as cargo carrying capacity, engine power and fuel consumption. Higher rated ships can deliver significantly lower CO2 emissions across the voyage length, which means they also use less fuel and are cheaper to run.

220px-Harbor_seals_on_Douglas_breakwater
 
Cruise ship haze over Juneau, Alaska
Stress for improvement[edit]

One source of environmental stresses on maritime vessels recently has come from states and localities, as they assess the contribution of commercial marine vessels to regional air quality problems when ships are docked at port.[21]For instance, large marine diesel engines are believed to contribute 7 percent of mobile source nitrogen oxide emissions in Baton Rouge/New Orleans. Ships can also have a significant impact in areas without large commercial ports: they contribute about 37 percent of total area nitrogen oxide emissions in the Santa Barbara area, and that percentage is expected to increase to 61 percent by 2015.[20] Again, there is little cruise-industry specific data on this issue. They comprise only a small fraction of the world shipping fleet, but cruise ship emissions may exert significant impacts on a local scale in specific coastal areas that are visited repeatedly. Shipboard incinerators also burn large volumes of garbage, plastics, and other waste, producing ash that must be disposed of. Incinerators may release toxic emissions as well.

In 2005, MARPOL Annex VI came into force to combat this problem. As such cruise ships now employ CCTV monitoring on the smokestacks as well as recorded measuring via opacity meter while some are also using clean burning gas turbines for electrical loads and propulsion in sensitive areas.

Oil spills[edit]

Most commonly associated with ship pollution are oil spills. While less frequent than the pollution that occurs from daily operations, oil spills have devastating effects. While being toxic to marine life, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the components in crude oil, are very difficult to clean up, and last for years in the sediment and marine environment.[22] Marine species constantly exposed to PAHs can exhibit developmental problems, susceptibility to disease, and abnormal reproductive cycles. One of the more widely known spills was the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska. The ship ran aground and dumped a massive amount of oil into the ocean in March 1989. Despite efforts of scientists, managers and volunteers, over 400,000 seabirds, about 1,000 sea otters, and immense numbers of fish were killed.[22]

International regulation[edit]

Some of the major international efforts in the form of treaties are the Marine Pollution Treaty, Honolulu, which deals with regulating marine pollution from ships, and the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, which deals with marine species and pollution.[23] While plenty of local and international regulations have been introduced throughout maritime history, much of the current regulations are considered inadequate. "In general, the treaties tend to emphasize the technical features of safety and pollution control measures without going to the root causes of sub-standard shipping, the absence of incentives for compliance and the lack of enforceability of measures."[24] Cruise ships, for example, are exempt from regulation under the US discharge permit system (NPDES, under the Clean Water Act) that requires compliance with technology-based standards.[22] In the Caribbean, many ports lack proper waste disposal facilities, and many ships dump their waste at sea.[25]

Sewage[edit]
220px-Smelly_whale.jpg
 
Carcass of a whale on a shore in Iceland.

The cruise line industry dumps 255,000 US gallons (970 m3) of greywater and 30,000 US gallons (110 m3) of blackwater into the sea every day. Blackwater is sewage, wastewater from toilets and medical facilities, which can contain harmful bacteria, pathogens, virusesintestinal parasites, and harmful nutrients. Discharges of untreated or inadequately treated sewage can cause bacterial and viral contamination of fisheries and shellfish beds, producing risks to public health. Nutrients in sewage, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, promote excessive algal blooms, which consumes oxygen in the water and can lead to fish kills and destruction of other aquatic life. A large cruise ship (3,000 passengers and crew) generates an estimated 55,000 to 110,000 liters per day of blackwater waste.[26]

Due to the environmental impact of shipping, and sewage in particular marpol annex IV was brought into force September 2003 strictly limiting untreated waste discharge. Modern cruise ships are most commonly installed with a membrane bioreactor type treatment plant for all blackwater and greywater, such as (http://www.gertsen-olufsen.com/Ship-Offshore/Products/G-O_Brands/G-O_Bioreactor.aspx) , Zenon or Rochem which produce near drinkable quality effluent to be re-used in the machinery spaces as technical water.

Cleaning[edit]

Greywater is wastewater from the sinksshowersgalleyslaundry, and cleaning activities aboard a ship. It can contain a variety of pollutant substances, including fecal coliformsdetergentsoil and grease, metalsorganic compoundspetroleum hydrocarbons, nutrients, food wastemedical and dental waste. Sampling done by the EPA and the state of Alaska found that untreated greywater from cruise ships can contain pollutants at variable strengths and that it can contain levels of fecal coliform bacteria several times greater than is typically found in untreated domestic wastewater.[27] Greywater has potential to cause adverse environmental effects because of concentrations of nutrients and other oxygen-demanding materials, in particular. Greywater is typically the largest source of liquid waste generated by cruise ships (90 to 95 percent of the total). Estimates of greywater range from 110 to 320 liters per day per person, or 330,000 to 960,000 liters per day for a 3,000-person cruise ship.[28]

Solid waste[edit]

Solid waste generated on a ship includes glasspaper, cardboard, aluminium and steel cans, and plastics. It can be either non-hazardous or hazardous in nature. Solid waste that enters the ocean may become marine debris, and can then pose a threat to marine organisms, humans, coastal communities, and industries that utilize marine waters. Cruise ships typically manage solid waste by a combination of source reductionwaste minimization, and recycling. However, as much as 75 percent of solid waste is incinerated on board, and the ashtypically is discharged at sea, although some is landed ashore for disposal or recycling. Marine mammals, fish, sea turtles, and birds can be injured or killed from entanglement with plastics and other solid waste that may be released or disposed off of cruise ships. On average, each cruise ship passenger generates at least two pounds of non-hazardous solid waste per day.[29] With large cruise ships carrying several thousand passengers, the amount of waste generated in a day can be massive. For a large cruise ship, about 8 tons of solid waste are generated during a one-week cruise.[30] It has been estimated that 24 percent of the solid waste generated by vessels worldwide (by weight) comes from cruise ships.[31] Most cruise ship garbage is treated on board (incinerated, pulped, or ground up) for discharge overboard. When garbage must be off-loaded (for example, because glass and aluminium cannot be incinerated), cruise ships can put a strain on port reception facilities, which are rarely adequate to the task of serving a large passenger vessel.[32]

Bilge water[edit]

On a ship, oil often leaks from engine and machinery spaces or from engine maintenance activities and mixes with water in the bilge, the lowest part of the hull of the ship, but there is a filter to clean bilge water before being discharged. Oil, gasoline, and by-products from the biological breakdown of petroleum products can harm fish and wildlife and pose threats to human health if ingested. Oil in even minute concentrations can kill fish or have various sub-lethal chronic effects. Bilge water also may contain solid wastes and pollutants containing high levels of oxygen-demanding material, oil and other chemicals. A typically large cruise ship will generate an average of 8 metric tons of oily bilge water for each 24 hours of operation.[33] To maintain ship stability and eliminate potentially hazardous conditions from oil vapors in these areas, the bilge spaces need to be flushed and periodically pumped dry. However, before a bilge can be cleared out and the water discharged, the oil that has been accumulated needs to be extracted from the bilge water, after which the extracted oil can be reused, incinerated, and/or offloaded in port. If a separator, which is normally used to extract the oil, is faulty or is deliberately bypassed, untreated oily bilge water could be discharged directly into the ocean, where it can damage marine life. A number of cruise lines have been charged with environmental violations related to this issue in recent years.[34][35]

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Don't let facts get in the way of your prejudices PJ.  As for the seas of plastic in the oceans, how much of it is tesco shopping bags? Very little to none at all would be my guess. I did read that an inordinate percentage of it was discarded plastic throwaway cigarette lighters! Ban smoking and save the oceans!!

Types of debris[edit]

 

Researchers classify debris as either land- or ocean-based; in 1991, the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution estimated that up to 80% of the pollution was land-based.[3] A wide variety of anthropogenic artifacts can become marine debris; plastic bagsballoonsbuoysropemedical wasteglass bottles and plastic bottlescigarette lightersbeverage canspolystyrenelost fishing line and nets, and various wastes from cruise ships and oil rigs are among the items commonly found to have washed ashore. Six pack rings, in particular, are considered emblematic of the problem.[4]

The US military used ocean dumping for unused weapons and bombs, including ordinary bombs, UXO, landmines and chemical weapons from at least 1919 until 1970.[5] Millions of pounds of ordnance were disposed of in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii.[6]

 

Eighty percent of marine debris is plastic.[7] Plastics accumulate because they typically do not biodegrade as many other substances do. They photodegrade on exposure to sunlight, although they do so only under dry conditions, as water inhibits photolysis.[8] In a 2014 study using computers models, scientists from the group 5 Gyres, estimate 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 269,000 tons dispersed in oceans in similar amount in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and one-hundredth of them in particles in the scale of a sand-size.[9]

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Lets face it, they aren't. Ballast water discharges is the focus of the next piece of international regulation coming into force. At the moment ships on international voyages are required to change their ballast water in deep water well away from land. Within a short time ships will have to be fitted with ballast treatment plants that will kill of any offending organisms. Where does the other 50% of the oil come from? Certainly not from ships, the days of tankers discharging tank washings into the sea are over. Ships are required to document all the oil loaded/used/discharged and any discrepancy is scrutinised closely. Oil exploration accounts for some, runoff from the land accounts for more. As for air pollution, ships are vastly more efficient as a means of transport than road vehicles in that they use a lot less fuel per tonne/mile than any other means of transport. It's very easy to point the finger at shipping but there are a lot worse sources of pollution in the world than ships.

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 Where does the other 50% of the oil come from? Certainly not from ships, 

 

 

oooh you dirty great fibber

 

\2zyzf9d.jpg

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The Exxon Valdez? Most of the damage to the environment in that disaster was caused by the chemicals used in the cleanup effort. When the Braer ran aground on Shetland in 1993 and broke up, very little in the way of chemical dispersant could be used yet all signs of it had disappeared within 12 months. Like it or not crude oil is a natural product. Sure it's pretty deadly to the wildlife but it's still part of nature, and is dispersed by natural action. My point about deliberate discharge of oil and other pollutants into the sea stands.

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The exxon Valdez  is not an isolated case ,  ships pollute every day including deliberate discharge.  You even accept yourself that ships deliberately discharge Bilge water into the ocean.

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yes, like I suspected, butterfly farts and fairy dust, oh! and a few  nasties

 

 

Ballast water[edit]

Ballast water discharges by ships can have a negative impact on the marine environment.

Cruise ships, large tankers, and bulk cargo carriers use a huge amount of ballast water, which is often taken on in the coastal waters in one region after ships discharge wastewater or unload cargo, and discharged at the next port of call, wherever more cargo is loaded. Ballast water discharge typically contains a variety of biological materials, including plantsanimalsviruses, and bacteria. These materials often include non-native, nuisance, invasive, exotic species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems along with serious human health problems.

Sound pollution[edit]

Noise pollution caused by shipping and other human enterprises has increased in recent history.[5] The noise produced by ships can travel long distances, and marine species who may rely on sound for their orientation, communication, and feeding, can be harmed by this sound pollution[6][7]

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species has identified ocean noise as a potential threat to marine life.[8]

Wildlife collisions[edit]

Marine mammals, such a whales and manatees, risk being struck by ships, causing injury and death. For example, if a ship is traveling at a speed of only 15 knots, there is a 79 percent chance of a collision being lethal to a whale.[9]

One notable example of the impact of ship collisions is the endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which 400 or less remain. The greatest danger to the North Atlantic right whale is injury sustained from ship strikes.[9] Between 1970 and 1999, 35.5 percent of recorded deaths were attributed to collisions.[10] During 1999 to 2003, incidents of mortality and serious injury attributed to ship strikes averaged one per year. In 2004 to 2006, that number increased to 2.6.[11] Deaths from collisions has become an extinction threat.[12]

Atmospheric pollution[edit]

Exhaust gases from ships are considered to be a significant source of air pollution, both for conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases.

There is a perception that cargo transport by ship is low in air pollutants, because for equal weight and distance it is the most efficient transport method, according to shipping researcher Amy Bows-Larkin.[13] This is particularly true in comparison to air freight; however, because sea shipment accounts for far more annual tonnage and the distances are often large, shipping's emissions are globally substantial.[13] A difficulty is that the year-on-year increasing amount shipping overwhelms gains in efficiency, such as from slow-steaming or the use of kites. The growth in tonne-kilometers of sea shipment has averaged 4 percent yearly since the 1990s.[14] and it has grown by a factor of 5 since the 1970s.[13] There are now over 100,000 transport ships at sea, of which about 6,000 are large container ships.[13]

Conventional pollutants[edit]

Of total global air emissions, shipping accounts for 18 to 30 percent of the nitrogen oxide and 9 percent of the sulphur oxides.[15] [16] Sulfur in the air creates acid rain which damages crops and buildings. When inhaled the sulfur is known to cause respiratory problems and even increases the risk of a heart attack.[17] According to Irene Blooming, a spokeswoman for the European environmental coalition Seas at Risk, the fuel used in oil tankers and container ships is high in sulfur and cheaper to buy compared to the fuel used for domestic land use. "A ship lets out around 50 times more sulfur than a lorry per metric tonne of cargo carried."[17] Cities in the U.S. like Long BeachLos AngelesHoustonGalveston, and Pittsburgh see some of the heaviest shipping traffic in the nation and have left local officials desperately trying to clean up the air.[18] Increasing trade between the U.S. and China is helping to increase the number of vessels navigating the Pacific and exacerbating many of the environmental problems. To maintain the level of growth China is experiencing, large amounts of grain are being shipped to China by the boat load. The number of voyages are expected to continue increasing.[19]

Greenhouse gas pollutants[edit]

3.5 to 4 percent of all climate change emissions are caused by shipping.[16] Air pollution from cruise ships is generated by diesel engines that burn high sulfur content fuel oil, also known as bunker oil, producing sulfur dioxidenitrogen oxide and particulate, in addition to carbon monoxidecarbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons. Diesel exhaust has been classified by EPA as a likely human carcinogen. EPA recognizes that these emissions from marine diesel engines contribute to ozone and carbon monoxide non-attainment (i.e., failure to meet air quality standards), as well as adverse health effects associated with ambient concentrations of particulate matter and visibility, hazeacid deposition, and eutrophication and nitrification of water.[20] EPA estimates that large marine diesel engines accounted for about 1.6 percent of mobile source nitrogen oxide emissions and 2.8 percent of mobile source particulate emissions in the United States in 2000. Contributions of marine diesel engines can be higher on a port-specific basis. Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is a standard for defining diesel fuel with substantially lowered sulfur contents. As of 2006, almost all of the petroleum-based diesel fuel available in Europe and North America is of a ULSD type.

As one way to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, vetting agency RightShip developed an online "Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Rating" as a systematic way for the industry to compare a ship’s CO2 emissions with peer vessels of a similar size and type. Based on the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) that applies to ships built from 2013, RightShip's GHG Rating can also be applied to vessels built prior to 2013, allowing for effective vessel comparison across the world's fleet. The GHG Rating utilises an A to G scale, where A represents the most efficient ships. It measures the theoretical amount of carbon dioxide emitted per tonne nautical mile travelled, based on the design characteristics of the ship at time of build such as cargo carrying capacity, engine power and fuel consumption. Higher rated ships can deliver significantly lower CO2 emissions across the voyage length, which means they also use less fuel and are cheaper to run.

220px-Harbor_seals_on_Douglas_breakwater
 
Cruise ship haze over Juneau, Alaska
Stress for improvement[edit]

One source of environmental stresses on maritime vessels recently has come from states and localities, as they assess the contribution of commercial marine vessels to regional air quality problems when ships are docked at port.[21]For instance, large marine diesel engines are believed to contribute 7 percent of mobile source nitrogen oxide emissions in Baton Rouge/New Orleans. Ships can also have a significant impact in areas without large commercial ports: they contribute about 37 percent of total area nitrogen oxide emissions in the Santa Barbara area, and that percentage is expected to increase to 61 percent by 2015.[20] Again, there is little cruise-industry specific data on this issue. They comprise only a small fraction of the world shipping fleet, but cruise ship emissions may exert significant impacts on a local scale in specific coastal areas that are visited repeatedly. Shipboard incinerators also burn large volumes of garbage, plastics, and other waste, producing ash that must be disposed of. Incinerators may release toxic emissions as well.

In 2005, MARPOL Annex VI came into force to combat this problem. As such cruise ships now employ CCTV monitoring on the smokestacks as well as recorded measuring via opacity meter while some are also using clean burning gas turbines for electrical loads and propulsion in sensitive areas.

Oil spills[edit]

Most commonly associated with ship pollution are oil spills. While less frequent than the pollution that occurs from daily operations, oil spills have devastating effects. While being toxic to marine life, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the components in crude oil, are very difficult to clean up, and last for years in the sediment and marine environment.[22] Marine species constantly exposed to PAHs can exhibit developmental problems, susceptibility to disease, and abnormal reproductive cycles. One of the more widely known spills was the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska. The ship ran aground and dumped a massive amount of oil into the ocean in March 1989. Despite efforts of scientists, managers and volunteers, over 400,000 seabirds, about 1,000 sea otters, and immense numbers of fish were killed.[22]

International regulation[edit]

Some of the major international efforts in the form of treaties are the Marine Pollution Treaty, Honolulu, which deals with regulating marine pollution from ships, and the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, which deals with marine species and pollution.[23] While plenty of local and international regulations have been introduced throughout maritime history, much of the current regulations are considered inadequate. "In general, the treaties tend to emphasize the technical features of safety and pollution control measures without going to the root causes of sub-standard shipping, the absence of incentives for compliance and the lack of enforceability of measures."[24] Cruise ships, for example, are exempt from regulation under the US discharge permit system (NPDES, under the Clean Water Act) that requires compliance with technology-based standards.[22] In the Caribbean, many ports lack proper waste disposal facilities, and many ships dump their waste at sea.[25]

Sewage[edit]
220px-Smelly_whale.jpg
 
Carcass of a whale on a shore in Iceland.

The cruise line industry dumps 255,000 US gallons (970 m3) of greywater and 30,000 US gallons (110 m3) of blackwater into the sea every day. Blackwater is sewage, wastewater from toilets and medical facilities, which can contain harmful bacteria, pathogens, virusesintestinal parasites, and harmful nutrients. Discharges of untreated or inadequately treated sewage can cause bacterial and viral contamination of fisheries and shellfish beds, producing risks to public health. Nutrients in sewage, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, promote excessive algal blooms, which consumes oxygen in the water and can lead to fish kills and destruction of other aquatic life. A large cruise ship (3,000 passengers and crew) generates an estimated 55,000 to 110,000 liters per day of blackwater waste.[26]

Due to the environmental impact of shipping, and sewage in particular marpol annex IV was brought into force September 2003 strictly limiting untreated waste discharge. Modern cruise ships are most commonly installed with a membrane bioreactor type treatment plant for all blackwater and greywater, such as (http://www.gertsen-olufsen.com/Ship-Offshore/Products/G-O_Brands/G-O_Bioreactor.aspx) , Zenon or Rochem which produce near drinkable quality effluent to be re-used in the machinery spaces as technical water.

Cleaning[edit]

Greywater is wastewater from the sinksshowersgalleyslaundry, and cleaning activities aboard a ship. It can contain a variety of pollutant substances, including fecal coliformsdetergentsoil and grease, metalsorganic compoundspetroleum hydrocarbons, nutrients, food wastemedical and dental waste. Sampling done by the EPA and the state of Alaska found that untreated greywater from cruise ships can contain pollutants at variable strengths and that it can contain levels of fecal coliform bacteria several times greater than is typically found in untreated domestic wastewater.[27] Greywater has potential to cause adverse environmental effects because of concentrations of nutrients and other oxygen-demanding materials, in particular. Greywater is typically the largest source of liquid waste generated by cruise ships (90 to 95 percent of the total). Estimates of greywater range from 110 to 320 liters per day per person, or 330,000 to 960,000 liters per day for a 3,000-person cruise ship.[28]

Solid waste[edit]

Solid waste generated on a ship includes glasspaper, cardboard, aluminium and steel cans, and plastics. It can be either non-hazardous or hazardous in nature. Solid waste that enters the ocean may become marine debris, and can then pose a threat to marine organisms, humans, coastal communities, and industries that utilize marine waters. Cruise ships typically manage solid waste by a combination of source reductionwaste minimization, and recycling. However, as much as 75 percent of solid waste is incinerated on board, and the ashtypically is discharged at sea, although some is landed ashore for disposal or recycling. Marine mammals, fish, sea turtles, and birds can be injured or killed from entanglement with plastics and other solid waste that may be released or disposed off of cruise ships. On average, each cruise ship passenger generates at least two pounds of non-hazardous solid waste per day.[29] With large cruise ships carrying several thousand passengers, the amount of waste generated in a day can be massive. For a large cruise ship, about 8 tons of solid waste are generated during a one-week cruise.[30] It has been estimated that 24 percent of the solid waste generated by vessels worldwide (by weight) comes from cruise ships.[31] Most cruise ship garbage is treated on board (incinerated, pulped, or ground up) for discharge overboard. When garbage must be off-loaded (for example, because glass and aluminium cannot be incinerated), cruise ships can put a strain on port reception facilities, which are rarely adequate to the task of serving a large passenger vessel.[32]

Bilge water[edit]

On a ship, oil often leaks from engine and machinery spaces or from engine maintenance activities and mixes with water in the bilge, the lowest part of the hull of the ship, but there is a filter to clean bilge water before being discharged. Oil, gasoline, and by-products from the biological breakdown of petroleum products can harm fish and wildlife and pose threats to human health if ingested. Oil in even minute concentrations can kill fish or have various sub-lethal chronic effects. Bilge water also may contain solid wastes and pollutants containing high levels of oxygen-demanding material, oil and other chemicals. A typically large cruise ship will generate an average of 8 metric tons of oily bilge water for each 24 hours of operation.[33] To maintain ship stability and eliminate potentially hazardous conditions from oil vapors in these areas, the bilge spaces need to be flushed and periodically pumped dry. However, before a bilge can be cleared out and the water discharged, the oil that has been accumulated needs to be extracted from the bilge water, after which the extracted oil can be reused, incinerated, and/or offloaded in port. If a separator, which is normally used to extract the oil, is faulty or is deliberately bypassed, untreated oily bilge water could be discharged directly into the ocean, where it can damage marine life. A number of cruise lines have been charged with environmental violations related to this issue in recent years.[34][35]

 

 

I want to know if anyone read this all the way through (apart from PJ of course :) )..... :)

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The exxon Valdez  is not an isolated case ,  ships pollute every day including deliberate discharge.  You even accept yourself that ships deliberately discharge Bilge water into the ocean.

Where did I admit that? The only bilge I can see is coming from yourself PJ 8)

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Hey you are right, it should have said ballast water.

 

My typo isn't going to get shipping and its contribution to pollution off the hook though.  I welcome the steps being taken to reign in this dirty industry but it doesn't seem to be working,  Shipping produces vast amounts of CO2 emissions , twice that of all aviation.  Here is a link to UN findings, not a whiff of fairy dust to be seen

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/feb/13/climatechange.pollution

 

Here is another link detailing how and why irresponsible ship operators pollute our waters ( some of which is due to dumping bilge water :D

 

http://www.emsa.europa.eu/operations/cleanseanet/item/479-deliberate-discharges.html

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