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Shipping or carriage of goods play an important role in the development of human societies and international shipping industry, which carries 90% of the world trade, is the life blood of global economy. During ships operational activity a number of solid and hazardous wastes, also referred as garbage are produced from galleys, crew cabins and engine/deck departments stores. This review provides an overview of the current practices onboard and examines the evidence that links waste management plan regulations to shipping trade. With strict compliance to International Maritime Organization's MARPOL regulations, which prevents the pollution of sea from ships various discharges, well documented solid and hazardous waste management practices are being followed onboard ships. All ship board wastes are collected, segregated, stored and disposed of in appropriate locations, in accordance with shipping company's environmental protection policy and solid and hazardous waste management plan. For example, food residues are ground onboard and dropped into the sea as fish food. Cardboard and the like are burned onboard in incinerators. Glass is sorted into dark/light and deposited ashore, as are plastics, metal, tins, batteries, fluorescent tubes, etc. The residue from plastic incineration which is still considered as plastic is brought back to shore for disposal. New targets are being set up to reduce the volume of garbage generated and disposed of to shore facilities, and newer ships are using baling machines which compress cardboard etc into bales to be taken ashore. The garbage management and its control system work as a 'continual improvement' process to achieve new targets.


Yeddanapudi V R P P Swamy. Solid and hazardous waste management practices onboard ocean going vessels: a review. Journal of environmental science & engineering. 2012 Jan;54(1):162-74

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PMID: 23741874

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