Expanding Our

Circular Economy

We support and aspire to achieve a circular economy model in our business, one which aims to manage natural resources efficiently and focuses on keeping products and materials in use as long as possible through reuse, recycling, refurbishment and maintenance.

Recycle, Reuse, Rethink.

In order to reduce our environmental impact and to continuously improve our sustainability practices, we are incorporating the circular economy principles, working closer with our supply chain partners, and investing in technologies to reduce waste and improve treatment processes.

We produce more than 85% of our onboard freshwater needs from the sea.

Water Management

We manage water responsibly by producing approximately 88% of the water we use on board our ships from sea water using desalinization and reverse osmosis equipment and the remaining 12% is purchased from the ports or the water suppliers in the ports we visit. We intend to self-supply at least 85% of our freshwater needs well into the future.

Based on the ships’ holding capacities and equipment, we adapt our water sourcing patterns in order to avoid impacting local water supplies, especially in times of water shortages. Consequently, our ship operations pose minimal water sourcing impacts to the port communities where we purchase water.

Food Management

As part of our waste management focus, we evaluate every aspect of food management across our organization, starting from how we purchase food, its preparation and consumption on board our ships, the donation of surplus food to the ultimate responsible processing and management of the remaining food waste.

We lead the industry with over 600 innovative food waste biodigesters installed across our fleet, which enabled our ships to organically decompose uneaten food on board in 2023 to just a fraction of the original volume. By “digesting” this leftover food down to a liquid form, it can be sustainably returned to nature.

In addition, we continue to innovate our approach to maximizing waste diversion by installing technologies such as grinders and dehydrators in addition to the more than 600 biodigesters we have installed fleetwide.

These machines build on the effectiveness of biodigesters by enabling the ships to sustainably break down a wider range of food items, including fruit and vegetable rinds, animal fats and other solid foods that are traditionally harder to break down. By the end of 2023, we installed over 60 dehydrators across the fleet to remove excess water from leftover food, reducing waste volume by up to 90%.

Food waste biodigesters installed
Food waste processed through waste biodigesters/dehydrators, or offloaded ashore
Food waste dehydrators installed
Reduction of food waste volume

Diverting Food Waste From Landfills

by Upcycling Used Coffee Grounds

In early 2023, our AIDA brand joined forces with Coffeecycle, a start-up from Hamburg, Germany, that focuses on reducing coffee waste and using it to produce natural cosmetics. Used coffee grounds, which would normally be disposed as organic waste, are now collected in special containers onboard and reused as key ingredients for high-quality vegan bar soap.

Since 2018 we have eliminated nearly 500 million single-use items.

We remain focused on eliminating and reducing single-use items and plastics from our daily operations and replacing them with more sustainable alternatives throughout the fleet. In 2023, we went a step further and began introducing reusable takeaway cups in addition to providing compostable single-use takeaway options. We are also shifting back to using traditional cups and glasses that can be washed after use. These initiatives allow us to further eliminate the need for disposable items.

We regularly review our policies to ensure we follow the most sustainable approach, and in 2023 took steps to phase out the use of polylactic acid (PLA) as an alternative to traditional plastic, due to limitations regarding its biodegradability.

PLA is a form of bioplastic and often used in food handling and packaging. It is derived from renewable resources such as cornstarch, sugar cane or other plant or biological material, as opposed to traditional plastics which are derived from nonrenewable petroleum.

While PLA is technically biodegradable, it requires a specific industrial composting facility to break down quickly and safely. To date, these types of facilities are in short supply, leading to more PLA not being properly recycled or decomposed.

Creating Recycling and Repurposing Solutions

During Ship Drydock Periods

Together with our supply chain partners - suppliers, local organizations, and subject matter experts - our teams and brands work on finding suitable and innovative solutions to recycle challenging items. As part of our circular economy commitment, we continuously strive to extend the use of any discontinued items and limit the amount of material going to landfills through our ship donations program as well as during drydock periods.


Partnering with RetourMatras, Greenwaste and Damen Shipyards, recycled over 50,000 kg of mattresses - saving more than 230,000 kg of CO2 emissions


Repurposed 35 metric tons of carpeting into a second life product in partnership with Oceancircle

Holland America Line

Piloted a new project in partnership with fabric producer Andriali Contract to test how to recycle and repurpose discarded material from drydock

Learn More

At Carnival Corporation & plc, our purpose is to deliver unforgettable happiness to our guests by providing extraordinary cruise vacations, while honoring the integrity of every ocean we sail, place we visit and life we touch.