National Academies Press: OpenBook

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea (1995)

Chapter: 3 Minimizing the amount of potential garbage

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Suggested Citation:"3 Minimizing the amount of potential garbage." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
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Page 274
Suggested Citation:"3 Minimizing the amount of potential garbage." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
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Page 275

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APPENDIX B 274 2.5.4 Current technology for on-board and shoreside processing of ship- generated garbage; 2.5.5 Provisioning options, materials and procedures to minimize the generation of garbage aboard ship. 2.6 Professional associations and societies of ship officers, engineers, naval architects, shipowners and managers, and seamen are encouraged to ensure their members' competency regarding the handling of ship-generated garbage. 2.6.1 Vessel and reception facility operators should establish training programmes for personnel operating and maintaining garbage reception or processing equipment. It is suggested that the programme include instruction on what constitutes garbage and the applicable regulations for handling and disposing of it. Such training should be reviewed annually. 2.7 Generalized public information programmes are needed to provide information to non-professional seafarers, and others concerned with the health and stability of the marine environment, regarding the impacts of garbage at sea. Governments and involved commercial organizations are encouraged to utilize the Organization's library and to exchange resources and materials, as appropriate, to initiate internal and external public awareness programmes. 2.7.1 Methods for delivering this information include radio and television, articles in periodicals and trade journals, voluntary public projects such as beach clean-up days and adopt-a-beach programmes, public statements by high government officials, posters, brochures, conferences and symposia, cooperative research and development, voluntary product labelling and teaching materials for public schools. 2.7.2 Audiences include recreational boaters and fishermen, port and terminal operators, coastal communities, ship supply industries, shipbuilders, waste management industries, plastic manufacturers and fabricators, trade associations, educators and governments. 2.7.3 The subjects addressed in these programmes are recommended to include the responsibilities of citizens under national and international law; options for handling garbage at sea and upon return to shore; known sources and types of garbage; impacts of plastic debris on sea-birds, fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and ship operations; impacts on coastal tourist trade; current actions by governments and private organizations, and sources of further information. 3 Minimizing the amount of potential garbage 3.1 All ship operators should minimize the taking aboard of potential garbage and on-board generation of garbage.

APPENDIX B 275 3.2 Domestic wastes may be minimized through proper provisioning practices. Ship operators and governments should encourage ships' suppliers and provisioners to consider their products in terms of the garbage they generate. Options available to decrease the amount of domestic waste generated aboard ship include the following: 3.2.1 Bulk packaging of consumable items may result in less waste being created. However, factors such as inadequate shelf-life once a container is open must be considered to avoid increasing wastes. 3.2.2 Reusable packaging and containers can decrease the amount of garbage being generated. Use of disposable cups, utensils, dishes, towels and rags and other convenience items should be limited and replaced by washable items when possible. 3.2.3 Where practical options exist, provisions packaged in or made of materials other than disposable plastic should be selected to replenish ship supplies unless a reusable plastic alternative is available. 3.3 Operational waste generation is specific to individual ship activities and cargoes. It is recommended that manufacturers, shippers, ship operators and governments consider the garbage associated with various categories of cargoes and take action as needed to minimize their generation. Suggested actions are listed below: 3.3.1 Consider replacing disposable plastic sheeting used for cargo protection with permanent, reusable covering material; 3.3.2 Consider stowage systems and methods that reuse coverings, dunnage, shoring, lining and packing materials; 3.3.3 Dunnage, lining and packaging materials generated in port during cargo discharge should preferably be disposed of to the port reception facilities and not retained on board for discharge at sea. 3.4 Cargo residues are created through inefficiencies in loading, unloading and on-board handling. 3.4.1 As cargo residues fall under the scope of these guidelines, it may, in certain cases, be difficult for port reception facilities to handle such residues. It is therefore recommended that cargo be unloaded as efficiently as possible in order to avoid or minimize cargo residues. 3.4.2 Spillage of the cargo during transfer operations should be carefully controlled, both on board and from dockside. Since this spillage typically occurs in port, it should be completely cleaned up prior to sailing and either delivered into the intended cargo space or into the port reception facility. Shipboard areas where spillage is most common should be protected such that the residues are easily recovered.

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Marine debris is a serious environmental problem. To do its part, the United States has agreed to abide by the international treaty for garbage control at sea, known as MARPOL 73/78 Annex V.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans explores the challenge of translating Annex V into workable laws and regulations for all kinds of ships and boats, from cruise ships to fishing crafts and recreational boats. The volume examines how existing resources can be leveraged into a comprehensive strategy for compliance, including integrated waste management systems and effective enforcement.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans describes both progress toward and obstacles to Annex V compliance. The book covers:

  • How shipborne garbage orignates and what happens to garbage discharged into the seas.
  • Effects of discharge on human health, wildlife safety, and aesthetics.
  • Differences in perspective among military, industrial, and recreational seafarers and shoreside facilities.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans will be important to marine policymakers, port administrators, ship operations officers, maritime engineers, and marine ecologists.

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