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Why P Ship Systems Joined NAMEPA as environmental stewards

As NAMEPA very genuinely points out, oceans, lakes and rivers are the cradle of life, but are seriously endangered by the actions of man. The most serious threat is pollution with existing environmental controls and regulations inadequate to control it.  P Ship Systems shares with NAMEPA strong common values for preserving the environment and our seas, which is the reason why we joined NAMEPA.

There is endless scientific research, investigations, reports etc. on how dangerous and unhealthy plastic bottled water is for human health. This gets even worse with plastic bottled water onboard due to not only still water’s quality and source is unknown, with unknown water quality conditions, but for how long still water exists inside the plastic bottle, if it is exposed to sunlight and at what temperature it is stored while stacked up at various warehouses before it gets to the vessel. Not to mention its exposure to sunlight again when transported from the vendor’s warehouse to the vessel.

On top of that, mental-wise because shore-side drinking water is bad in many countries worldwide (due to public local poor water infrastructure or even non-existing networks), people have grown up drinking only bottled water and thus continue this mentality wherever they happen to be worldwide.

And then there are the real harmful effects of the plastic bottle itself to the sea and to the environment.  At P Ship Systems, our top priority is to protect the sea, the environment, and seafarers, by delivering field-tested drinking water vessel systems to shipping companies for their ocean-going vessels. Our goal is to change the unhealthy global maritime situation onboard commercial vessels sailing worldwide and to protect above all seafarers immediately, by providing them with safe and constantly freshly produced drinking/cooking water onboard.

It is of crucial importance that the (shipping) industry demonstrates its commitment to ESG principles. Managing environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) at the company level is key to our industry’s Sustainability. Environmental, social and corporate governance issues (ESG) are influencing financing decisions, regulatory changes and fleet renewal across the shipping industry.

UNEP (UN’s Environment Program) also clearly depicts in its November 2019 study, just like climate change-related risks, plastic pollution risks can affect insurance and investment portfolios in the form of physical, transition, liability, and reputational risks.

Reputational Risks:

Reputational risks of transacting with businesses perceived as high plastic polluters or who are investors in high plastic polluters. Plus, as per UNEP, if companies in certain sectors fail to adapt to changing public perceptions around plastics, these businesses may struggle in the future, resulting in reduced business for insurers underwriting and investing in these businesses. We them have risk of staff dissatisfaction as plastic pollution becomes a topic of ever-higher public awareness and increasing investor awareness of sustainability issues and risk of divestment from high plastic polluters.

Liability Risks:

Around plastic pollution are likely to evolve as government and public perceptions of plastic pollution change. As an example, increasing exposure to liability claims for plastic pollution as public awareness and regulation change. Or employer’s liability related to risks to human health to workers that come into frequent contact with plasticisers and other additives used in plastic production that pose a serious threat to human health. Or the risk of litigation for liability claims related to bodily damage caused by chemicals present in plastics.

Transition Risks:

Those may be the most pressing risks related to plastic pollution for insurers, their clients and investees. Single-use packaging alone has been estimated to be responsible for USD 40 billion in externalities (economic costs not borne by those responsible for causing them). Concurrently, governments are under pressure to find new ways to deal with plastics, at a time when doing so has become increasingly difficult and costly. And legislators are in fact already making moves towards making producers of packaging and the companies using it responsible for the costs of waste management, following the “polluter pays” principle.

Such changes are taking place unevenly across the globe, but regulations to reduce plastic pollution waste have spiked in recent years and strong commitments have been made in many countries. India’s Prime Minister, as an example, has said that India will ban all single-use plastics by 2022.

The shipping industry is blamed for much of the plastic pollution in the oceans. This is not true however since 1.000 rivers are responsible for 80% of ocean plastic emissions, as announced a week ago in the press, with researchers from Netherlands and Germany defining a list of 1.000 rivers contributing the most plastic pollution into oceans.  Even so, the shipping industry can help its reputation by reducing its onboard plastic use.

In our space, tons of drinking water are consumed onboard vessels worldwide. In plastic bottles. And keeping in mind the number of ships operating worldwide, this translates to billions or even a trillion litres of water.

The question therefore is not if we can start saving up and protecting above all our most important onboard asset, our seafarers (on top of the sea and the environment) but how soon and in what time frame we can do that in the shipping industry.

P Ship Systems does exactly that. We are here to:

  • enhance NAMEPA’s environmental stewards for preserving the marine environment via best practices on drinking water onboard vessels
  • educate and to fully enlighten its shipping company members on how to specifically stop using plastic bottled water onboard vessels by taking advantage of their existing vessel infrastructure
  • eliminate the need for plastic water bottles onboard and all the problems associated with plastics

… in one sentence… protect our seafarers worldwide, reduce GHGs in the air, waste in the ocean and on the vessel, and to eliminate waste management charges for shipping companies globally.

 

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at: www.namepa.net

Giorgos Kyriazis

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