Why Carnival installed 600 food waste biodigesters

July 18, 2022

1 minute, 47 seconds read

Why Carnival installed 600 food waste biodigesters

Over the past three years, Carnival Corp & plc installed nearly 600 food waste biodigesters across nine of their major cruise line brands. This significant investment in waste management technology was necessary to help Carnival Corporation meet MARPOL compliance and support its food waste management objectives. 

Even today, contaminated food waste continues to be an issue that maritime vessels struggle with. However, ships shouldn’t simply dump their food waste into the ocean for a number of reasons beyond the obvious negative impact on the environment and the risk of discharging plastics.


In 2017, Carnival Corp was found guilty of dumping food mixed with plastic waste in Bahamian waters and among other things, releasing over 11,000 gallons of food waste globally. They were subsequently fined $40 million by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Carnival decided to implement biodigesters to prevent unprocessed food waste and any plastics from being discharged in the ocean.

Plastic waste that had been accidentally mixed in with organic waste is captured by the LFC biodigester

Modernizing fleets with biodigesters

Biodigesters are a food waste solution that satisfy requirements mandated by the DOJ. They use a natural aerobic digestive process in which microorganisms break down food waste and turn it into water. It is an automatic process that also captures any non-organic material within the machine and prevents contaminants (including plastics) from entering the waste stream

Power Knot engineer teaching staff at Carnival Corp how to use the LFC biodigester
Crew at Carnival being trained on how to use the LFC biodigester

The LFC biodigester manufactured by Power Knot Ocean in California can be easily installed as a drop-in replacement for pulpers. The LFC biodigesters send data about their usage to the LFC Cloud where compliance with regulations can be maintained. With biodigesters installed on their ships, Carnival can remotely monitor food waste data in real time. Read more from Carnival’s 2021 Sustainability report here.

Maritime Officer of Carnival Corporation, Bill Burke, said, “The rollout of nearly 600 biodigesters represents another important milestone for our ongoing efforts to further minimize our impact on the oceans we sail and the communities we visit while supporting overall food waste management efforts and environmental compliance on board our ships.”

Contact Power Knot Ocean to learn more.