Recreational boating joins forces against ocean plastic

European Boating Industry (EBI), the organisation that represents the recreational boating sector in Europe, has partnered with The SeaCleaners, created by the sailor and ecologist Yvan Bourgnon, with the aim of strengthening its actions to protect the marine environment and combat plastic pollution.

EBI says it is strongly committed to reducing marine pollution and raising awareness among boaters and the general public. The SeaCleaners is a natural partner to EBI, given its commitments to awareness-raising, biodiversity protection, plastic waste collection and scientific observation. Under the new partnership based on a Memorandum of Understanding, both organisations will promote common activities.

This basically means that The SeaCleaners will develop and distribute educational tools, such as a plastic waste collection manual. Companies and boaters will be invited to participate in The SeaCleaners’ voluntary observer programme looking at floating plastic pollution in the areas of the world most affected by this phenomenon. The observations will be processed, analysed and used to create a reference database on global plastic pollution. This will improve the relevance of public policy, on land or at sea, aimed at reducing plastic pollution and protecting marine biodiversity.

Companies in the boat building and equipment manufacturing sector will be offered the opportunity to contribute to the construction and fitting-out of the Manta, a pioneering solution for collecting and recovering floating plastic macro-waste that will be launched in 2024. The Manta will be the first deep-sea vessel capable of collecting and mass treating floating oceanic waste before it breaks up and enters the marine ecosystem in a sustainable manner, thanks to its on-board plant.

“The European Union has estimated the cost of environmental damage caused by plastic pollution in Europe to be 22 billion euros up to 2030,” says Jean-Pierre Goudant, president of EBI. “We are convinced that all maritime actors must make a determined commitment against plastic pollution. Through our collaboration with the NGO The SeaCleaners, we are proud to take another step forward by supporting a great project and giving the industry access to concrete resources to act.”

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