Miami, FL – NPR reports that Carnival Cruise Lines has pleaded guilty to six probation violations, including the dumping of plastic mixed with food waste in Bahamian waters.
The cruise line giant Carnival Corporation and its Princess subsidiary have agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $20 million for environmental violations such as dumping plastic waste into the ocean.
Princess Cruise Lines has already paid $40 million over other deliberate acts of pollution.
The company also admitted sending teams to visit ships before the inspections to fix any environmental compliance violations, falsifying training records and contacting the U.S. Coast Guard to try to redefine what would be a “major non-conformity” of their environmental compliance plan.
The EPA estimates that single 3,000-person cruise ship pumps 150,000 gallons of sewage—about 10 backyard swimming pools’ worth—into the ocean per week. One vessel in an EPA study produced 74,000 gallons of sewage in a single day.
The sewage dumped into the sea teems with bacteria, heavy metals, pathogens, viruses, pharmaceuticals, and other things that can harm the health of both humans and aquatic life.
According to the report, Carnival has had a long history of dumping plastic trash and oily discharge from its ships, with violations dating back to 1993.