The safe management of food waste is a key component in many ship’s ongoing commitment to reducing the impact on the oceans that ships sail. Conventional practices entail collecting food remnants on board, grinding them into a biodegradable substance, and subsequently transporting this material offshore via barges or tenders at ports for further processing.
However, an emerging trend sees ships transitioning towards innovative food waste solutions. Among these, food waste biodigesters are gaining prominence, not only for their ability to eliminate the necessity of transporting food waste from ships but also for their role in curbing plastic pollution by containing it. Marine entities such as Carnival, BSM, Golar LNG, and more are using the LFC biodigester aboard their ships.
Segregation and Management: Food waste biodigesters typically require the separation of organic waste from non-organic materials, including plastic. This initial segregation helps ensure that plastic items like straws, utensils, or packaging do not end up mixed with food waste. As a result, biodigesters create an organized waste stream, minimizing the chances of plastic contamination.
Preventing Ocean-Bound Plastic: Most plastic that ends up in the ocean comes from single use plastic such as straws or single use containers. When these plastics are disposed of improperly or mixed with food waste, they can end up in the waste stream. Food waste biodigesters act as a barrier by keeping these plastics within their drum, thus stopping them from being discharged into the environment.
Reduction of Marine Life Impact: Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to marine life. Fish, birds, and other animals often mistake plastic items for food or become entangled in them. By preventing plastic materials from reaching the oceans, food waste biodigesters contribute to the conservation of marine ecosystems and help protect various species from the harmful consequences of plastic ingestion and entanglement. Read about how food waste impacts marine life here.
The adoption of food waste biodigesters such as the LFC biodigester within the maritime industry represents a pivotal shift towards sustainable and responsible waste management practices. These innovative solutions not only spare ships the logistical hassle of offloading food waste but also play a vital role in mitigating plastic pollution.
By separating organic waste from non-organic materials and effectively containing plastics, biodigesters contribute to cleaner oceans, safeguarding marine ecosystems and the species that call them home. This transition underscores the industry’s commitment to safeguarding our oceans, making significant strides in both environmental stewardship and marine life conservation. As ships continue to embrace these cutting-edge technologies, they are taking a proactive step towards a cleaner, more sustainable maritime future.