ban chart of shipping line plastic waste agreements
Image courtesy of BAN

Shipping line will no longer carry plastic scrap

CMA CGM Group says starting June 1 it will no longer transport the material.

February 14, 2022

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, headquartered in France, has announced that the shipping line will no longer transport plastic scrap aboard its ships beginning June 1. He made the announcement during the One Ocean Summit organized by France’s President Emmanuel Macron, which was Feb. 9-11.

The CMA CGM Group says the decision demonstrates its commitment to protecting the environment and conserving biodiversity.

The shipping line says nearly 10 million tons of plastic end up in the sea annually because of open-air storage of the material and the absence of processing infrastructure for plastic scrap that does not actively get recycled or reused.

With the decision that it will no longer transport plastic scrap onboard its ships, CMA CGM says it will prevent this type of waste from being exported to destinations where sorting, recycling or recovery cannot be assured.

The Basel Action Network (BAN), Seattle, says the shipping line’s move is in response to a call issued by BAN, The Last Beach Cleanup and 50 other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in their Global Shipping Lines Campaign. The organizations wrote letters to the nine largest global shipping lines--Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, CMA CGM, MSC, Hamburg SUD, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Evergreen, COSCO and Orient Shipping--urging them to establish policies and implement procedures to prevent the export of end-of-life plastic of all kinds moving from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to non-OECD countries or the OECD countries Turkey and Mexico.

CMA CGM is the first of the shipping lines contacted to announce a complete halt of plastic scrap shipments. Hapag-Lloyd has stopped shipments to China, while Maersk, Hamburg SUB and MSC have stopped shipments to China and Hong Kong.