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Disposal of old boats

Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boats are highly durable and end – of – life (EOL) disposal has not so far been a major issue. However, the time is coming when these boats will reach the end of their lives and will have to be disposed of. As regulation restricts the disposal of FRP to landfill, recycling will become the only realistic option.

A number of projects have examined boat dismantling and recycling practices and increase awareness of the problem; none have addressed how disposal is to be financed. It has been suggested that the costs should fall on the boat owner, but this does not recognise that the boatbuilding industry has its part to play and development of marine products that are more sustainable throughout their life cycle must be incentivised.

As a result and in spite of the great advances in waste management in Europe, there is a compelling need for specific legislation related to management, scrapping and recycling of boats.

The EBA believes that the marine industry must start developing viable EOL strategies itself or have solutions imposed upon it by European legislation akin to those that have evolved for the auto trade. Legislation must ensure that boats are designed and manufactured in such a way as to allow their reuse, recycling and recovery to be achieved.

Legislation should ensure that producers meet all, or a significant part of, the costs of the implementation of these measures.

The EBA believes that similar to the Directive on End of Life Vehicles, there is now a requirement for an EU Directive on EOL boats that lays down measures which are aimed at:

  • Ensuring that boats are designed and manufactured in such a way as to allow the quantified targets for reuse, recycling and recovery to be achieved;
  • preventing of waste;
  • promoting the reuse, recyclability and recovery;
  • obligating the use of manufacturing processes without hazardous substances;
  • improving the environmental performance of all of the economic operators involved in the life cycle of boats.

A Directive should cover boats and end-of life boats, including their components and materials. This shall apply irrespective of how the boat has been serviced or repaired during use and irrespective of whether it is equipped with components supplied by the producer or with other components whose fitting as spare or replacement parts accords with the appropriate Community provisions or domestic provisions.