Responsible ship recycling

Currently, the majority of vessels globally are not recycled responsibly. The projected growth in demand for recycling capacity of large vessels adds to the urgency of creating responsible new solutions. As a leader in the shipping industry, Maersk has a responsibility to use our leverage to make a positive impact.

Why responsible ship recycling matters

Despite many shipowners having policies for responsible ship recycling, nearly 90% of the gross tonnage recycled is handled in sub-standard health, safety and environmental conditions.

With global ship recycling volumes predicted to double by 2028, and quadruple by 2033, urgent action is needed to ensure that the growth in demand for ship recycling services is met by suppliers with responsible practices.

Our ambition

We will ensure safe and responsible ship recycling globally to the benefit of workers, environment, responsible yards and shipowners.

Responsible ship and recycling

Our targets

Create global opportunities for responsible post-Panamax ship recycling
Digital integration
Work with stakeholders to support EUSRR compliance and the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative
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Position Maersk’s role in decarbonising the global steel value chain
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Continue wider Alang area development

Highlights in 2023

Lashing Operations
3 vessels sent for recycling
The vessels are responsibly recycled according to Maersk’s ship recycling standards
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Zero injuries and environmental spills
Maersk’s standard help ensure safety and the environment remains priories in Alang, India since 2016

Priorities and actions

To support a global transition towards a responsible, practice-driven, and financially viable ship recycling industry, our targets represent core commitments that will guide our work to deliver both short and long-term positive change.
Ship Location

Setting the bar in responsible ship recycling

All Maersk vessels are recycled in accordance with the Maersk Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS). This standard is based on a strict interpretation of the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) regarding health, safety and environmental issues, and goes beyond HKC in key areas including anti-corruption and labour and human rights.
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Building capacity for unprecedented demand

We work to identify and support the creation of new opportunities to stimulate capacity growth to handle the anticipated rise in global recycling volumes – particularly large vessels in the post-Panamax category.
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Advocating for regulatory change

To address capacity and capability challenges, we continue to work actively with industry stakeholders to have yards in non-OECD countries included on the EU list of approved yards to recycle vessels registered in EU countries.

Download Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS)

Explore our ship recycling activities

Alang impact assessment

The study covers the period 2017-2023 during which 16 vessels were responsible recycled at seven yards, engaging more than 1,100 workers

Archive of ship recycling activities

Featured highlights and case stories

Sustaining high standards in Alang

We continue our commitment and contribution to the broader development of the Alang area through health care initiatives.

In 2023, Maersk was recognised at the Global Maritime India Summit for its Responsible Ship Recycling programme in Alang. We also received a second CSR Health Impact award from the Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council for funding a mobile health unit and awareness training for ship recycling workers.

Mobile health unit in Alang

Closing the post-Panamax capacity gap

A significant part of the global shipping fleet becoming ready for recycling in the next decade will be in the “post-Panamax” category: too large to navigate the Panama Canal, and too large to be responsibly recycled in most of the world’s available recycling facilities.

The first of Maersk’s post-panamax vessels will be due for recycling already next year and the pipeline will grow significantly over the next decades. In 2023, Maersk continue sending clear demand signals and enhanced our support for creating new opportunities via dialogue with several ecosystem stakeholders including ship.

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Regulations remain a critical capacity enabler

Maersk continue engaging with stakeholders for a conducive regulatory environment, in 2023, addressing the key capacity challenge to meet increased demand for ship recycling.

Maersk supports empanelment of eligible yards located outside the EU into approved lists of Ship Recycling Facilities and also recommends a focus on circularity in the revised EU Ship Recycling Regulation - such as the certification of recycled steel as “green steel”.

Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling Yard.

Ship recycling as resource to the steel industry

Maersk supports opportunities for ship recycling to contribute towards global steel decarbonisation efforts.

In 2023, Maersk engaged with several steel value chain players to understand their appetite for securing steel from ship recycling and contributed to a publication by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative on Green Steel and Shipping, available here . Towards this effort, Maersk remains engaged with the SteelZero initiative (read more).

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Sustainability Report 2023

Explore our progress on environmental, social and governance dimensions in our latest Sustainability Report.




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Our global brand


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