CLIA Highlights Cruise Industry’s Innovative Recycling, Reducing and Reusing Strategies on America Recycles Day

Nov 15, 2017

In honor of America Recycles Day (#BeRecycled), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Line Members are showcasing their commitment to keeping America beautiful.

Cruise ships recycle, on average, 60 percent more waste per person than the average person recycles on shore each day, adding up to more than 80,000 tons of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass recycled each year. Some ships can even repurpose 100 percent of the waste generated onboard — by reducing, reusing, donating, recycling and converting waste into energy.

“Cruise ships use some of the most innovative recycling, reducing and reusing strategies in the world,” said Donnie Brown, vice president of maritime policy, CLIA. “The cruise industry is proud to participate in America Recycles Day. Through industry efforts, less than 1.5 pounds per person per day in unrecyclable waste is generated on cruise ships, compared to the average of 4 to 5 pounds per person per day on land in the United States.”

Some of the cruise industry’s best practices include:

  • Advanced Recycling Practices
    CLIA Cruise Line Members have adopted the Cruise Industry Waste Management Policy, which is one of the most comprehensive and advanced set of practices for waste disposal in the marine environment. Member lines have committed to reducing plastics disposed in landfills and increasing recycling volumes by separating plastics and recycling whenever possible. Further, the cruise industry invests in research to identify new ways to reduce the amount of plastics brought on board ships through sourcing and product selection. 
  • Crew Contributions
    Due to the efforts of highly trained waste management professionals onboard, the per person trash for disposal is less, and the recycling rate is higher, on a cruise ship than if those same travelers vacationed on land—or even stayed home. Cruise lines employ dedicated environmental officers who are responsible for compliance. Member lines also incentivize crew to reduce waste, and Crewmembers at all levels bring garbage to the recycling room where they hand-sort everything into a variety of bins.  
  • Passenger Participation
    The cruise industry actively encourages passengers to join environmental stewardship efforts to reduce waste and offers numerous onboard resource conservation programs. Some cruise lines have implemented separate collection trash receptacles for recycling drinking containers. Other cruise lines offer environmental education classes to staff and guests, ensuring increased attention to what each passenger can do to improve environmental sustainability.

You can help make a difference too! On America Recycles Day, pledge to learn what materials are collected for recycling, act to help reduce the amount of waste and encourage others to take the #BeRecycled pledge.

To learn more about CLIA’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle visit:

About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world's most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages

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