The many ways Carnival Cruise Lines is destroying the environment

Carnival Cruise Lines carries 22 percent of all the passengers who take cruises each year and has an annual revenue of $10.9 billion. It provides vacations for many families and groups that choose to travel to new ports of call around the world.

But while Carnival has been a huge success with both customers and shareholders, it isn’t a friend of the environment, as Friends of the Earth warns:

“Carnival companies — Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America, Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, Costa, and 4 others — are key polluters of our oceans and definitely not role models for other cruise lines like they claim to be. Although authorities have tried to hold these companies accountable, they continue to illegally pollute our environment and threaten the health of the communities they visit.”

The company is currently on a two-year probation, the result of a $40 million settlement it reached for illegally polluting the oceans with oily waste and then hiding it from regulators, which resulted in an obstruction of justice judgement.

But wastewater dumping is only one way Carnival is proving to be an enemy of the planet. They’ve also been caught dumping plastic into the ocean and polluting the air far in excess of federal regulations.

Since 2002, Carnival has been caught red-handed violating numerous environmental regulations:

“One of the worst recent violations committed by Carnival was the illegal discharge of graywater into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. According to court documents, Holland America’s Westerdam cruise ship illegally dumped 26,000 gallons of graywater into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska in September 2018. Holland America was fined a mere $250 by Alaska authorities and did not immediately report the discharge to the Coast Guard like they are required to under federal law.”

That minuscule fine of $250 is the equivalent of what a person would pay for incorrectly using a handicap placard on your car.

And Carnival is part of a much larger problem presented by the entire cruise ship industry, which is growing exponentially and will continue to pose a threat to the planet:

“The cruise industry continues to grow rapidly around the world; it is the fastest-growing category in the leisure travel market. The industry, including the biggest cruise companies Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, has 50 new ships on order over the next 5 years, and an investment value of more than $51 billion. Carnival Corp. alone made $3.2 billion in profits last year. It is clear that the industry’s market keeps increasing. But the companies keep operating irresponsibly and failing to comply with environmental regulations, as well as actively hiding illegal behavior.”

Ironically, Carnival recently bragged about their commitment to the environment, claiming in a statement that “their environmental responsibility has been and continues to be top priority… our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived.”

Dumping oily pollution and plastics is not leaving a place better than you found it, and yet Carnival is paying no price for their reckless disregard for the law and Mother Earth.

Featured Image Via Wikimedia Commons 

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Andrew Bradford

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