The key issue of how to deal with boats when they reach the natural end of their life will be the subject of a newly announced one-day conference that will be held on Monday 16 November 2015, the day before METS starts.
A discussion of the business prospects for an organised yacht recycling network, and the term 'End-Of-Life Boats', have come to prominence recently in yachting circles. This reflects the fact that the boom years of the 1970s and '80s and the mass production of GRP yachts from long-lasting composite construction materials are presenting the yachting industry with various economic and environmental challenges.
London-based Quaynote Communications and YachtMedia nautical media consultants from Rotterdam will host a one-day conference specifically targeted at this sector during METS 2015. Fully supported by METSTRADE, 'The Future of Yacht Recycling' conference will be held on Monday 16 November in Amsterdam RAI.
ICOMIA estimates that there are over six million recreational craft in Europe alone, the vast majority of which are constructed in GRP. Present methods of disposal are crude, generally involving chopping up composite structures into fragments that can be sent to landfill. Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands already have regulations restricting the disposal of GRP in landfills and recycling will soon become the only realistic option.
The sharing of information between various EU countries is vital in this context. The questions of who pays and how much will have to be addressed. Several options, such as an EU-administered yearly disposal tax on all boats, or an upfront payment when the boat is purchased, are being discussed. Towards the end of this year the Brussels-based organisation European Boating Industry will publish a set of guidelines and examples of best practice. This may lead to future EU legislation on the disposal of yachts that have reached their end of life.
There have been significant advances in European maritime nations over the last two years. These include a number of independently organised yacht recycling schemes and various breakthroughs in tackling the challenging problems of cost-effective recycling of GRP and finding secondary use applications for the resulting reconstituted materials.
As a leading maritime nation with a huge number of ageing leisure yachts in its domestic fleet, the Netherlands is an ideal location for this inaugural commercial Yacht Recycling Conference. The Dutch government also prides itself on its care for the environment and responsible ecological management policies, not least across its vast network of inland waterways.
This makes METS 2015 the perfect place and time to bring together as many interested parties as possible in Amsterdam to share experiences, the latest technologies, updates on recent legislation, commercial funding possibilities and business opportunities.
METS is the world’s largest trade exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry. It is organised by Amsterdam RAI in association with ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations). Three dedicated specialist pavilions are part of METS: the SuperYacht Pavilion, the Marina & Yard Pavilion and the Construction Material Pavilion. In 2015 METS will be held from 17 until 19 November in Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre. For more information see www.metstrade.com. Metstrade is also on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.