Smiley Movement logo

Amsterdam takes radical action to tackle pollution from cruise ships

Words by Tess Becker

The ocean is becoming more polluted by the day. Plastics and trash form massive floating islands of garbage, and chemical runoff toxifies the water. Some of the most ocean polluters on the planet are cruise ships. 

Boats the size of small cities sit off the coast generating massive amounts of sewage and grey water. Cruise ships also generate large volumes of oily bilge water, sewage sludge, garbage and hazardous wastes. In addition, these luxury liners, which allow passengers a rare glimpse of some of the most sensitive environments on the planet, spew a range of pollutants into the air that can lead to serious public health problems and contribute to global warming.

According to Friends of the Earth vacationers generate eight times more carbon on a cruise ship than on land.

To address this, Amsterdam has decided to ban the ships from their ports. The goal is to limit visitors and curb pollution in the surrounding water.

The popularity of Amsterdam has led to an overflow of people and with that pollution. 

“Cruise ships in the centre of the city don't fit in with Amsterdam's task of cutting the number of tourists,” said Ilana Rooderkerk of the liberal D66 party.

This comes as  Amsterdam has been trying to scrub up the city, banning cannabis smoking on the streets of the red-light district.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here.

Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

You might also like…