OnWatch episode 9: BIMCO’s single use plastics campaign - a conversation with Dr Bev Mackenzie

BIMCO’s back of the envelope estimate is that more than 1.7 billion plastic water bottles are used on board commercial ships every year.  MARPOL Annex V prohibits discharge overboard of garbage including plastics of all kinds.  That does not mean that plastic bottles and other plastic waste generated on board does not enter the ocean. For example, ships cannot control waste handling on shore.  

BIMCO’s Dr Bev Mackenzie provides expertise in marine environmental science, shipping and policy from plastics to climate change. We talk with her about the campaign to reduce single use plastic by replacing plastic water bottles with onboard systems that provide safe and good quality drinking water. To kick off, BIMCO has produced a survey to get a better understanding of the current practices. Gard urges our members and clients, whether BIMCO members or not, to take 10 minutes and respond to thBIMCO Survey on Single Use Plastics Onboard Ships ( 

The survey will close in mid-September and will inform the continuing progress of the BIMCO single use plastic working group. In addition to Dr Mackenzie, the group includes representatives from Greigstar, Cosco, Oceanwide Expeditions, Sanmar Shipping, Scorpio, Thome, Wilhelmsen and Gard as well as the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA) as an observer.

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