The organisers of the first international Yacht Recycling Conference to take place in conjunction with METSTRADE in Amsterdam on 16th November, have announced more global support for the event, and some additional speakers to complete a packed agenda.
Protecting oceans and waterways.
Ocean Conservation organisations such as Blue Marine Foundation from the UK, Asociacion Ondine from Spain, and the Dutch based Studio Smack who make promotional ocean ecology videos for Greenpeace, have all given their backing to the forum, and supplied some enlightening video material to be shown during the day.
Sara-Jane Skinner speaking for Blue Marine said,“our Foundation's mission is to protect 10% of the world's oceans with marine conservation zones by 2020, and along with this we are 100% behind initiatives that are aimed at reducing any form of pollution into the seas. Therefore we are delighted to be involved in this event, and I look forward to being there personally to participate in, and support such an important marine industry forum.”
Offering international experience and industry relevance.
Other speakers who will now join the expert panels during the day and share their views and experiences on End-of-Life Boats (ELB's), are Willem Dekker who is Chairman of the European Boating Association, and Arie de Jong, CEO of ARN, the largest auto recyclers and waste management consultants in The Netherlands.
Mr Dekker and Mr. de Jong are added to an international mix of specialists coming from France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, UK, USA and Holland, who will speak and debate on a range of subjects applicable to the dismantling and recycling of redundant leisure craft, and how the global boating industry can move forward with the challenges presented by an ever growing problem.
Willem Dekker said, “our organisation represents a block of some 10 million boaters in Europe, so we are absolutely committed to being at the forefront of discussions on ELB'S. Very recently we concluded a project study and published our 'Position Statement' on the matter, so will be looking forward to sharing information, and hopefully identifying unified actions going forward with like minded colleagues.”
Arie de Jong of ARN commented, “we recycle 85% of the End-of-Life automobiles in the Netherlands and handle millions of tons of assorted waste material, so we have the benefit of many years of experience to bring to the table. We are very willing to share that with the boating community, and to perhaps give them some pointers about what to focus on, and what to avoid!”
Addressing a global challenge.
Peter Franklin, speaking for the joint organisers Quaynote Communications and YachtMedia gave his own views on why he believes the timing for the conference is absolutely critical saying, “It's fair to assume that there are at least 40 million leisure boats in the world... Probably more, as boat registration schemes vary in different nations, are non existent in many of them, and usually do not apply to smaller craft like canoes and dinghies. Therefore a totally reliable global data base does not exist.”
“However, 40 million is a figure which can be reasonably extrapolated from various national studies, and some registration schemes. A large percentage of them are built from GRP (Fibreglass) composite material, and form the basis of a 'Perfect Tsunami!'...This is a rapidly increasing number of End-of-Life Boats (ELB's), which result from the boom years in the 70's and 80's, when they were built in large volumes, and are now approaching, or exceeding 40 years of age.”
Franklin continued, “By applying a very conservative estimate and assuming that only 1% of the world leisure fleet will become redundant annually, this means that at least 400,000 boats will have to be disposed of globally each year, and on an increasing scale into the future.”
So, what happens if properly organised and funded methods of disposal and recycling are not made available, and thousands of boats are simply abandoned, beached or left to sink?
1) The oceans, waterways, canals and lakes that support our future leisure pursuits and provide a healthy ecology will become ever more polluted, as every boat that is abandoned contains hydrocarbons, acids and other toxic elements.
2) Marinas and harbours will become clogged with redundant and unwanted boats, becoming a drain on their operational profits, and stifling future boat sales by taking up space which is not easy to increase without a natural turnover of stock.
3) The whole scenario with unsightly rotting or half submerged boats, becomes an eyesore that reflects badly on the yachting / water sports community, and discourages new people from taking up boating as a hobby or lifestyle.
“But, its not all bad news, as there is clearly some progress in recent years”, said Franklin.
“For instance, we know that 6000 boats were responsibly recycled in Japan during 2014/15. The APER network of boat recyclers in France have handled 4000 in the last five years. And the Swedish have just announced a new scheme that they estimate will dispose of 2000 to 3000 per year.”
“And in The Netherlands which has around 600,000 leisure craft dotted around its waterways, there are several companies successfully operating environmentally responsible dismantling / recycling services.”
“A recent independent study in Holland has indicated that some 6000 boats currently berthed in the water, will potentially be offered for dismantling and disposal over the next five years. And it further predicts that this number is set to double in the ensuing five years up to 2025.”
“Therefore with all this activity we really have some experience to draw upon now, which was not available just a few years ago. Surely then, the timing is perfect to bring together in Amsterdam as many interested parties as possible, to share experiences, latest technologies, legislative updates, commercial funding possibilities, and of course business opportunities”, concluded Peter Franklin.
Added benefits for delegates.
All registered delegates who attend the Future of Yacht Recycling Conference will automatically receive an entrance pass for the METSTRADE show, so there will be no need to register for both events. Also by special arrangement with METSTRADE the Yacht Recycling delegates will be treated to an exclusive pre-show tour of of the Materials Xperience display. This will feature diverse lightweight and fire retardant materials, along with luxury interior finishes, honeycomb panels, foam materials and bio-composites, many of which could be applied to the boat designs and construction of the future.
Online registration for the conference is still open at: www.regonline.co.uk/RECY15
Further details and the complete agenda with speaker profiles can be obtained at: www.quaynote.com