Hamburg tackles illegal ship waste dumping in the world’s seas

All ships berthing at the Port of Hamburg are now allowed to dispose of extremely large amount of waste at no extra charge as an incentive to prevent waste from ships being dumped illegally into the sea.

About 20,000 cubic meters of ship waste get dumped in the North Sea alone every year.

“Plastic waste pollutes the oceans. Up to 600,000 cubic meters of garbage is suspected alone to cover the seabed of the North Sea. Ship waste on the seabed is a major problem for fish, plants and the marine ecosystem. Plastic takes hundreds of years until it breaks down. Degrading micro-plastic enters the food chain and kills seabirds,” said Hamburg Minister of the Environment Jens Kerstan.

The ship waste charges regulation were readjusted to meet the changes in fleet structure as fewer but much larger vessels now call at the port of Hamburg.

For the first time, a quantitative limit for sanitation has been introduced, and the allowances for oil residues have been increased.

There are also plans to introduce a subsidy of up to EUR 450 for disposal of residues from gas cleaning systems or scrubber sludge.



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