Pollution and Cruise Ships

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The Pollution Caused by Cruise Ships

James Tapp
Business Ethics, BUAD 5304

Cruise ships and the industry as a whole are vital to the economic stability of the local port cities in which they dock at daily. These ships carry up to 3,000 passengers who spend enormous amounts of money at tourist locations around the world. It is estimated that millions of dollars are generated and placed into the tourism markets annually. This is great news for local communities that depend on the cruise ship industry in order to survive, however it is bad news when it comes to the environment. Cruise ships create a massive amount of waste which ends up polluting our water ways and sending vast levels of pollutants into the air as well. These large ships typically produce around 170,000 gallons of waste water, 21,000 gallons of sewage, 6,400 gallons of bilge water, and 1 ton of solid waste per day ((Brooks & Dunn, 2012). Unfortunately, these waste products are dumped into our oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes. There are numerous laws, regulations, and guidelines to prevent such things from happening but most of the cruise ship operations have found a way to work around them. They understand that states such as Alaska and Washington prohibit dumping of waste materials in their waters. The cruise ship corporations have taken advantage of the relaxed laws of places like British Columbia (B.C.) which for the most part allows them to release their waste products into their water areas. This presents a dilemma for the cruise ship industry because they ultimately have to decide between making a profit and being environmentally sound. Corporations such as the cruise ship industry have an ethical responsibility to meet all environmental regulations and laws regardless of where they are sailing. Corporations have an obligation to the general public and that includes making sure they are meeting standards set forth by the government. Environmental groups have a major influence on...
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