The cruise ship industry has become a well-implemented industry in the Baltic Sea area, and each year, the number of cruise ship passengers rises steadily. Efficient waste management in cruising ports around the Baltic Sea is a crucial element in minimizing environmental impacts. This research involves the four selected ports of Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn. The study applies statistics and interview data to the analysis of waste management systems for cruise ship-generated waste. The interview data involves 12 executives and professionals responsible for environmental issues and decision making in their respective ports. The interviews highlighted the need for standardized environmental legislation and related procedures, which would result in coherent measurement systems. These systems would enable transparent environmental monitoring, thus maintaining the ports’ competitiveness. A common environmental legislation would support the emerging waste management system for the whole Baltic Sea area. The study suggests that ports should focus on handling specific types of wastes and collaborate as a spatial network. Specialization to allow the discharge of certain fractions of waste is essential. The paper concludes by addressing demands for future research, particularly vessel- and customer behavior-focused studies.
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