National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Source Reduction." 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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INTEGRATING VESSEL AND SHORESIDE GARBAGE MANAGEMENT 143 SHIPBOARD TECHNOLOGIES AND PRACTICES To apply the principles of integrated solid waste management, vessel operators first conduct a needs assessment, which includes determining how much and what sort of garbage is generated and the disposal restrictions in the waters where the vessels operate. A waste management plan then is developed. More often than not, such plans have been developed on an ad hoc basis out of necessity rather than based on engineering expertise. To assure zero discharge of plastics, plans call for waste sorting. It appears that the requisite behavioral change is occurring and that sorting can become a universal practice. Where garbage sorting procedures have been implemented, training and educational efforts (such as posters and placards) and process simplification (such as color coding and labeling of receptacles) have been cited as factors determining success (Kauffman, 1992). Many vessels have advanced and comprehensive waste management plans (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, 1993). In one instance, Navy personnel developed their own environmental compliance program—a "cookbook" on how to integrate garbage handling With other practices to meet environmental objectives (Gallop, undated). In addition, a number of fully integrated shipboard waste management systems have been designed. An example is the approach taken in constructing some of the newest passenger vessels, where the garbage handling and management system is designed concurrently with the vessel, to provide the best possible means of complying with Annex V. This approach elevates the mundane task of garbage handling to the same level of importance as all the other auxiliary systems considered during ship Construction (Deerberg, 1990, 1993; Vie, 1990; Florida- Caribbean Cruise Association, 1993; Laitera, 1993; Whelpton, 1993). Source Reduction An important step in integrated waste management is the effort to reduce amounts of materials brought on board that will become garbage. As indicated in Chapter 3, this type of early intervention in the hazard evolution process has been largely overlooked in the past but is an important aspect of Annex V implementation. Source reduction demands the cooperation of vendors as well as vessel operators and crews. A typical target in source reduction plans is plastic packaging. Each vessel operator tailors a source-control approach to fit the circumstances. Needs and supplies are examined, and excess packaging can be left on shore. The committee witnessed such source-control efforts at a cruise ship terminal. These procedures may create extra up-front work for the steward and staff but can reduce significantly the amount of garbage to be managed during the voyage. Another approach is to discontinue use of disposable plates, cups, and cutlery and equip the

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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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