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Published on 17/10/2023

Prevention of Single-Use Plastic in the Maritime Industry

Did you know that a crew of around 15 people can consume up to 10,000 1.5-litre bottles of water a year? 

It is estimated that plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose, and even then, they may not be gone entirely; they stay in the environment as microplastics.  

The plastic in our ocean has a significant impact on our marine life and the ecosystem as a whole, and whilst some may think this doesn’t affect us, microplastics will be ingested by marine life and, in turn, end up in our food. 

In 2019, the European Parliament announced plans to ban many throwaway plastic items. According to the European Commission, more than 80% of marine litter. Because plastic can take too long to decompose, accumulating in the seas, oceans, and beaches in the EU and worldwide, the products covered by this new regulation constitute 70% of all marine litter. 

In 2021, the following products were banned in the EU: 

By 2029, member states must reach a 90% plastic bottle collection goal, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030. 

Prevention of Single-Use Plastic 

This plan has impacted shipping companies that still rely on plastic water bottles for their clean water supply. We all know that the elimination of a convenience-based problem is going to be inconvenient at the very least, but these changes are healthy signals that the first steps are being taken. 

India has made a strong statement against the war on plastic by becoming the first country in the world to ban single-use plastics on ships. India first banned single-use plastic on ships in 2020, which included plastic water bottles, meaning drinking water on ships needed to become readily available for ships under the flag of India. 

Kuwait has joined India in banning single-use plastic, meaning items such as plastic cutlery, water bottles, plastic bags and food containers are banned under the flag of Kuwait. 

Ships now entering ports in Kuwait and India now must make log entries of their single plastic use and get rid of the waste elsewhere and is strictly banned for discharge straight into the ocean under the MARPOL ANNEX V legislation. 

Other countries are soon hoping to follow in India’s and Kuwait’s footsteps in banning single-use plastic aboard their ships.

Safe drinking water 

In the maritime industry, we can cut down on single-use plastic and the use of plastic bottles by providing crews and customers with safe drinking water. 

Having safe drinking water on your vessel will begin to reduce your plastic bottle use as the need for bottled water will be significantly decreased.  

Potable water testing kits like Drinksafe play an important role not just in safeguarding crews but for helping to save the environment. 

Drinksafe is the easiest water testing kit on the market and is designed around MLC 2006 and WHO guidelines to provide you with everything you need to perform regular, comprehensive testing of your vessel’s water supplies. 

One of our customers, Grindrod Ship Management, have completely eliminated the use of bottled water on board ship by switching to Drinksafe to improve their water testing. As well as a massive cost saving, the change has also had a big impact on their plastic waste. 

“Our company is saving 32,000 bottles per month due to more robust water testing policies” 

– Grindrod Ship Management 

Discover a sustainable approach to keep crew members safe, cut costs through water testing, and help reduce plastic waste. Reach out to us at [email protected],