The advanced wastewater treatment systems aboard a growing number of ships can produce water cleaner than most wastewater treatment facilities in US cities.
Cruise lines have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and implement new technologies to reduce harmful air emissions and are in the process of deploying exhaust gas scrubbers to cut sulfur oxide emissions from ships’ engines.
A number of ships are installing the necessary equipment to use shore power where feasible in ports where it's available.
The industry has made significant strides to cut energy consumption inside ships by switching to low energy LED lights and high efficiency appliances, recycling hot water and applying special window tinting to reduce air conditioning needs.
Many CLIA member lines offer programs to raise passenger and crew awareness including stateroom videos, activities and the promotion of recycling and conservation efforts.
Other examples of environmental initiatives by member lines include, for one family of brands, increasing the amount of non-hazardous waste recycled ashore by 18% and reducing total waste almost 5% in a one-year period.
And one line recycled nearly 53% of the solid waste it generated in 2013.
One hundred percent of the waste generated on 12 ships of one family of cruise brands is being re-purposed through reducing, reusing, donating, recycling and converting waste to energy.
One major cruise company has achieved a reduction in greenhouse gases of nearly 4% over a two-year period.
In 2013, one line recycled 1,254 tons of cardboard, 2,517 tons of scrap metal, 2,988 tons of glass and 669 tons of plastic and managed 748 tons of trash and international garbage at waste-to-energy facilities which conserved 30,096 gallons of gasoline, 6.35m gallons of water, 3,715 barrels of oil and 23,450 mature trees.
Condensation from air conditioning units is reclaimed and then re-used to wash the decks on a CLIA member line’s ships, saving up to 22.3m gallons of fresh water annually.
One line’s vessels offload and recycle more than 52,000 gallons of used cooking oil annually.
For each passenger who travels on its ships in Europe, one line donates $1 to Whole World Water, which works to provide clean and safe water to the world’s nearly 1bn people living without access to potable water.
A CLIA member line achieved a 32% reduction in CO2 emissions in a five-year period.
Through passenger efforts and the use of water flow resisters in showers, a line decreased water consumption by 7% per passenger and 6% overall.
One member line donates reusable goods to local charities including towels, linens, dishes, cookware, silverware, televisions, computers and mattresses through participation in a community-giving program.
Other environmental efforts are detailed at www.cruiseforward.org.