A popular cruise line that travels through Canada has found itself in some hot water. According to several sources, a subsidiary of Princess Cruises is being fined $20 million for dumping garbage into the ocean. This cruise line is extremely popular and has many routes across the world, including stops in Vancouver, BC.
On June 3, 2019, a court filing was submitted that reported Carnival Corp, a subsidiary of Princess Cruises, released a large amount of pollution into the ocean including plastics and food waste. Since the cruise line travels through Canada, this could mean that the garbage has been dumped in Canadian waters before.
The company has admitted to violating the terms of a 2017 settlement for improper waste disposal. While doing so, the company was under probation for a similar conviction in 2016.
According to Business Insider, the court filing submitted on Monday stated that Carnival released food and plastic into the ocean, failed to accurately record waste disposal, created false training records, and secretly examined ships to fix environmental-compliance issues before third-party inspections without reporting its findings to the inspectors.
The settlement will require the company to pay $20 million within seven days. They will also need to receive additional ship inspections, devote more resources to ensure compliance with the 2017 settlement, reduce the number of single-use plastic items on its ships, and establish a team devoted to improving waste management.
Should Carnival not meet these deadlines to revamp and meet the settlement, it will have to pay additional penalties anywhere from $1 million to $10 million per day.
“Princess Cruises depends on the oceans. We are committed to environmental practices that set a high standard for excellence and responsibility and help preserve the marine environment,” says Princess Cruise on their website under their “commitment to the environment” page.
“In all cases, we meet environmental requirements and, in many cases, we go beyond what is required by law while we are continuously working to identify ways we can raise the level of our environmental performance.”
According to the Princess Cruise website, they have redesigned their food and supplies purchasing to cut down on the number of plastic items being brought on board. They also have an extensive recycling program that has employees sort and separate garbage and recyclables.
The website does openly state that “under international, regional, and national environmental laws ships are allowed to dispose of food waste into the oceans when that food waste is ground to less than 25 mm and when a ship is farther than 12 nautical miles from shore.”
This is not the first time that this large corporation has had legal issues. In 2016, the company was forced to pay $40 million for illegally releasing oil into the ocean. Since then, Carnival has been on a five-year prohibition term.
According to Business Insider, a report from an environmental-compliance inspector found over 800 violations of Carnival’s. The Miami Herald has stated that the violations were between April 2017 and April 2018 and were “accidental and disclosed by Carnival.”
Princess Cruises is a popular cruise line that has multiple routes throughout the world. It even has a cruise route that travels through Vancouver.