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Carnival Cruise Lines becomes the first Major Cruise Line to employ bio-digesters fleetwide.

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News 



Carnival Cruise Lines wants to celebrate Earth Day by highlighting its latest improvement in environmental efforts by recognizing its industry leadership and reducing food waste since its restart of guest operations.

According to a release, as Carnival nears the return of its full fleet, the Cruise Line has become an industry leader in employing bio-digesters across its entire operation to discharge processed food waste. Carnival installed more than 200 bio-digesters, supplied by BioHiTech America, a Renovare Environmental Company, so every ship sailing is fully equipped for the galley crew to use them. 

A bio-digester is an enclosed container that uses beneficial microorganisms, oxygen, and warm water to convert food waste into liquid at an accelerated rate – breaking down 99 percent of the food put into it, with only a fine, silt-like material remaining.

“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,” said Richard Pruitt, Vice President of Environmental Operations at Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Cruise Lines has an ongoing mission with preserving environmental sustainability, having pioneered the introduction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform to the passenger cruise sector last year with the introduction of the Carnival Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras, and its two sister ships the Celebration and Jubilee, are all a part of Carnival’s commitment to emissions reduction.

There are fourteen digesters on board the Mardi Gras alone, that process about 142,000 pounds of food waste each week. Renovare Environmental estimates as much as 94 million pounds will be digested across the entire Carnival fleet by the end of the year.

“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,” said Emily F. Dyson, Vice President of Science, Research, and Development for Renovare Environmental.

Without bio-digesters, millions of pounds of unprocessed food waste would otherwise be lawfully discharged into the ocean as allowed by maritime law. Current maritime regulations do not require food waste to be processed and only prohibit discharge at sea within 12 nautical miles from land, making the Cruise Line’s new practice of utilizing bio-digesters ahead of the industry standard.

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