Amsterdam | 2020, 17 - 19 November
Inaugural Future of recycling conference unveils first programme details

Inaugural Future of recycling conference unveils first programme details

  • 08 July, 2015
  • METS

The first details have been announced of a one-day conference addressing the main issues in the environmentally responsible dismantling and recycling of redundant boats. The Future of Recycling conference will be held on Monday 16 November 2015 in RAI Amsterdam, the day before METS gets underway. It will also feature a dedicated exhibition area where specialist contractors, suppliers and advisers can discuss their products and services with delegates and trade visitors from all sectors of the yachting industry.

The conference agenda will consist of key topics that focus on both the technical/ commercial challenges, and the significant opportunities presented by what has become known as 'End-of-Life Boats' (ELB), and will be held on Monday 16th November at the RAI Conference Centre in Amsterdam.

Powered by METS and technically supported by ICOMIA, the conference entitled The Future of Yacht Recycling will be staged by Quaynote Communications in partnership with YachtMedia, and will form part of the annual METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show) in the Netherlands.

Geert Dijks - HISWA
A welcome speech by Geert Dijks, Director of HISWA, the Netherlands Water Sports Association will set the tone for the day, and specialist speakers from the ICOMIA Environmental and Marinas Groups will feature in presentations and panel discussions covering the background to the present situation, and its affects on the yachting industry and marina operations.

Britta Eklund, Bo van Baars and Gert van der Have
Other speakers such as Britta Eklund from Stockholm University, and Bo van Baars who runs a successful yacht recycling operation in Holland will share their experiences on process developments that are showing promise for the future. Gert van der Have of the water sports advisory consultants ARN, will lead discussions on how the yachting industry can adapt in order to deal with the future costs of yacht disposal, and how it could be funded. Other key elements such as transportation, designing of yachts with sustainable materials, and the all important recycling of GRP composite materials will be covered during the day.

An engaging program in a perfect location...
This all makes The Future of Yacht Recycling Conference and its location in the heart of Europe alongside the world's premier nautical trade show, a particularly relevant forum to bring together as many interested parties as possible, to share experiences, latest technologies, legislative updates, commercial funding possibilities, and of course business opportunities!

RAI Amsterdam is acclaimed for its environmental sustainability
The Future of Yacht Recycling Conference, Exhibition and Reception will be held in the new Elcium Building at RAI Amsterdam, which quite appropriately has been acclaimed for its environmental sustainability. Irene Dros, Maritime Domain Manager at RAI said: “We are really looking forward to host this event at METS 2015. It gives added value to the total programme of METS, and it completely fits with our stated environmental objectives for making this world a cleaner place” The RAI has won several awards for its approach to sustainability, and in 2013 achieved the distinction of enabling 100% recycling of all its generated waste.

Online delegate registration is now open for the conference with an early bird rate of 275 euros for the day. For full details, updated agenda or to register online go to

To discuss sponsorship or speaking opportunities please contact: or

End-of-Life Boats – A brief background
In recent years most nations with ownership of significant numbers of leisure yachts amongst their population, have been turning their attention to the ELB phenomena which has been exacerbated due to the boom years of the 70s and 80's, when large numbers of yachts were mass produced from long-life composite construction materials. And due to the fact their average life span is 30 to 50 years, they are now presenting the yachting industry with some economic and environmental challenges, in fairly large and annually increasing numbers.

In simple terms, the future growth of new boat sales will depend to a large extent on effectively dealing with the boats of yesteryear, in much the same way as the automotive industry has developed its own solutions to the problem!

A study carried out by ICOMIA (The International Council of Marine Industry Associations) has estimated that there are more than 6 million recreational craft in Europe alone. This also revealed that historically, disposal methods have been crude, and generally involve chopping up composite structures and reducing them to fragments that can be sent to landfill, which is considered unsustainable in the long run. The conclusion? Recycling is the only realistic option for the future...

As far back as 1999 the US based naval architect Eric Sponberg wrote an article entitled Recycling Dead Boats, in which he said: “Boat builders cannot produce a new boat that is competitively priced with its used counterpart. And added to that, “the industry has ‘shot itself in the foot’ by building boats out of such a durable and almost indestructible material as fibreglass (GRP.)”

Sponberg elaborated further: “What we need is a disposal pipeline for old boats. Take them out of the market, cut them up, grind them into little pieces and use them for something else. If old boats go away, the market and marinas automatically have space for new boats, and business booms. Recycling of course is the answer.”

So, now there is a new technical and commercial process in the yachting industry that will undoubtably develop and expand into the future. Not only that, but naval architects, designers, boat builders and their sub suppliers will start to think more creatively about how to construct yachts, taking into account the eventual prospect of sustainably recycling them.

Note to the editor (not for publication):
For more information, please contact the Brand Marketing Manager: Petra IJmker

+31 (0)6 120 11 899

Always stay up to date

subscribe to our newsletter »

Latest Video

View all »