Targets set for end-of-life boat recycling

A roadmap has been launched for the European boating industry aimed at increasing end-of-life boat recycling as a matter of urgency. The plan, launched by the European Boating Industry (EBI), is based on a three-year process involving all public and private stakeholders, with the boating industry committing to phasing out unsustainable recycling practices and targets set for the period up until 2030.

The ‘Roadmap on the implementation of the circular economy for end-of-life boats’ follows several dismantling and recycling schemes already set up in many European countries. Estimates vary wildly, but some put the number of end-of-life boats in European waters at more than 6.5 million, most of them smaller than 7.5m.

Projections put the number of boats reaching their end-of-life at more than 30,000 boats a year in the EU which would result in around 23,1000 tons of end-of-life composite waste per year. Recreational and commercial marine make about 2-3% of the total composite use in Europe.

The industry, represented by EBI, commits to phasing out landfilling and energy recovery by 2030 and expanding the use of more sustainable boat recycling solutions in coordination with other composite use industries, such as wind energy. The roadmap gives recommendations to be implemented, including on financing, dismantling, transport, recycling, research and innovation.

It will be driven forward by a new EU Network on end-of-life boats with several countries indicating their interest in using it to develop their approach to end-of-life boats.

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