The Carnival Corporation has reached a settlement with U.S. federal prosecutors in which the world’s largest cruise line has agreed to pay a $20 million penalty because its ships continued to pollute the oceans despite a previous criminal conviction aimed at curbing similar conduct.
Senior U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the agreement after Carnival CEO Arnold Donald stood up in open court and admitted the company’s responsibility for probation violations stemming from the previous environmental case.
“The company pleads guilty,” Arnold said six times in a packed courtroom that include other senior Carnival executives, including company chairman and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison.
“We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them,” Arnold added
Proposed changes include a reduction by Carnival in the use of single-use plastic items across its entire fleet and creation of “tiger teams” meant to make improvements in the ships’ food and beverage systems and how waste is handled at sea.