The recent release of the documentary movie A Plastic Ocean has drawn yet more attention to the very real and concerning problem of marine pollution. Our oceans have become increasingly polluted over the years, and the maritime industry has rightly taken a lot of the blame for such an outcome. Thankfully, there is still a great deal that can be done to redress the balance. Here are five effective, achievable ways to reduce waste on ships and fixed platforms.
- Establish robust recycling processes
There are a great many materials which can be recycled, so owners and operators need to be as proactive as possible in this area. Everything from batteries and aerosol cans to waste oil and packaging is recyclable, enabling vessels to minimise their carbon footprint in a major way. As always, further information is available from the relevant authorities.
- Re-use, re-use, re-use
Both at home and at sea, we seem to be all too willing to use an item and then throw it away, but in many cases they could be re-used over and over again. Cardboard boxes, plastic carrier bags, storage boxes, polythene wrap and waste oil can all fall into this category. And as an added bonus you can save money while you’re also helping the environment.
- Do your bit for charities
Before throwing anything away, you should be asking yourself if someone else may be able to use that item instead. Electrical items, such as televisions, galley appliances, radio equipment and even mobile phones may still be usable, so it could be a good idea to consider making an approach to charity shops. Keeping such items in circulation helps everyone.
- Minimise space and save money by compacting
One of the best ways to reduce waste on ships can also be one of the most cost-effective. A high quality compactor will make it easier to manage waste paper, cardboard and packaging with ease, and will save on space aboard the vessel. Later, when such materials need to be disposed of, the cost will be lower, thereby increasing the profit margin of your voyage.
- Disposal at sea should never be an option
Anyone with a vested interest in the quality of our seas should see A Plastic Ocean, if only to become increasingly aware of the desperate need for improvements. Dumping anything at sea is rightly considered to be a no-no these days, so it’s advisable to make every crew member aware of our collective responsibilities. In basic terms, whatever gets taken to sea on a voyage needs to be brought back.