There is a growing interest in new transportation routes that combine benefits of shorter distances, cost-effective transits and routes not troubled by maritime security concerns. The Northwest Passage offers a package of routes through the Canadian maritime zone; it is 9,000 km shorter than the Panama Canal route and 17,000 km shorter than the Cape Horn route. The Northern Sea Route shortens a Hamburg-Yokohama voyage by 4,800 miles, in comparison with the Suez Canal route. The transpolar route, if it materializes with an ice-free Central Arctic Ocean route, would shorten distances even further. Given the increase in regional and international navigation and shipping in the region, it is therefore not surprising that in recent years Arctic States and international bodies focused on the needs of enhanced safety and environmental standards for polar shipping. In addition to the dedicated domestic polar shipping regulation, primarily in Canada and the Russian Federation, the Arctic Council and International Maritime Organization (IMO) have launched important initiatives. The most important is establishing of international rules for ships operating in polar waters – The Polar Code.
The aim of the research was to assess the microbiological (number of heterotrophic bacteria, actinobacteria and moulds) and biochemical (urease and acid phosphatase activity) state of peat with the admixture of composts produced from sewage sludge. An additional aim of the research was to demonstrate the influence of those substrates on the morphological traits of scarlet sage (height, number and length of shoots, number of buds and inflorescences, greenness index (SPAD)). Composts produced from sewage sludge, wheat, maize and lupine straw were mixed with peat, where their percentage varied from 25% to 75%. The substrate which included the composts applied in the experiment had a higher number of heterotrophic bacteria and a higher acid phosphatase activity level than the control substrate (peat). The multiplication of moulds and actinobacteria was more intensive than in the peat only in the combinations with K3 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+ lupine straw 30%) and K4 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+fresh maize straw 30%) composts, whereas the highest urease activity level was observed in the soils produced from K1 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+white straw 30%) compost. The most optimal development of plants was observed in the substrate with compost produced from wheat straw. Composts produced from municipal sewage sludge were found to be suitable for growing scarlet sage. However, their effect depends on the percentage of high peat in the substrate.