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15 Carnival Corporation ships are testing food waste bio-digester machines that separate plastics from food waste while naturally breaking down the food.

Throughout the day, as food scraps are added to the system, a mix of microorganisms, including microbes and enzymes, rapidly and naturally digest the organic waste. The machines operate 24 hours a day.

Carnival Corporation is testing three different bio-digester machines, including systems that can evaluate a variety of parameters and produce data, including the weight and volume of food waste digested, the net food waste reduced and the amount of CO2 reduced, among others. The data can be automatically uploaded to a cloud server and remotely monitored.

The bio-digesters reduce a ship’s carbon footprint by using an aerobic digestion process to break down food particles, releasing a translucent, environmentally safe liquid. This limits the amount of greenhouse gas emitted from conventional food waste processing systems.

12 more ships are scheduled to have the system installed in coming months across seven of the corporation’s nine cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn.

Chris Donald, senior vice president of corporate environmental compliance at Carnival Corporation, said: “Since we serve meals to millions of guests each year, this new green technology can help us significantly reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint, while also greatly improving our ability to manage non-food waste, including plastics.”