In our ship waste reduction project ”MERI”, launched earlier this year, we are now reviewing food and provisions. Food accounts for almost one third of the human impact on the climate. When edible food is thrown away, all the energy and work involved in growing and cooking is wasted. The problem is not the bio-waste itself, but rather the unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions from production and nutrients causing eutrophication. There would be less of both if the produced food was fully utilized.
We provided two composters for test use on M/V Polaris VG. The experiment is for controlling the amount of food waste and handling of bio-waste. The first experiences show that compared to a household more bio-waste is generated, as the ship’s inhabitants are all adults and eat all daily meals on board. Because meals onboard are not ready-to-eat food, a large amount of the generated bio-waste is potato skins, coffee grounds and other waste that is not wasted food.
We are also in the process of concentrating our ship provisions, enabling a closer cooperation with the supplier e.g. to reduce packaging, follow orders better, and also save costs. In order to reduce food waste, we are drawing up guidelines for ships with researchers specialized in food loss. Making the meals onboard more environmentally sustainable is one aspect in our project. The purpose is not to lower the standard of meals, but to increase systematic planning. We have also delivered fish grown in recirculating aquaculture system to our vessels during autumn. Sustainably produced fish is one way to replace meat, that has a direct positive influence on CO2 emissions and the state of the Baltic Sea.
M/V Polaris VG’s cook Silja taking bio waste to the new composter.