Circular economy for end-of-life boats

Brussels, 30 March– For the first time, the boating industry in Europe represented by EBI launches a roadmap for solving the roadblocks to end-of-life boat recycling. Based on a three-year process involving all public and private stakeholders, it sets ambitious targets for the period until 2030. The boating industry also commits to phasing out unsustainable recycling practices.

The “Roadmap on the implementation of the circular economy for end-of-life boats” is launched by European Boating Industry (EBI) today. It sets the stage to comprehensively solve the issue of end-of-life boats, a key challenge for the industry. Public and private stakeholders, including national authorities, industry, consumers/boaters, academia, and related industries came together to develop a comprehensive approach. It follows the successful dismantling and recycling schemes already set up in many European countries.

It is estimated that there are over 6.5 million boats in European waters, mostly smaller than 7.5 meters. They have a lifetime of up to 50 years or more. The number of boats reaching their end-of-life until 2030 is now projected at more than 30,000 boats per year in the EU. This would result on average of over 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. It will expand the use of more sustainable recycling solutions in coordination with other composite use industries, such as wind energy. The Roadmap places the boating industry on a pathway to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and moving towards the circular economy. Moreover, it provides  recommendations to be implemented, including on financing, dismantling, transport, recycling, research and innovation. The Roadmap will be executed by political and private- sector actors and be driven forward by a new EU Network on end-of-life boats. Several countries have also indicated their interest in using the Roadmap as a blueprint to develop a comprehensive approach on end-of-life boats.

Philip Easthill, Secretary-General of European Boating Industry added:

We are convinced that the Roadmap, once implemented by all actors, has the potential to lead the transformation towards a circular boating help us to strengthen the cross-industry approach where we are already working with the industries of composite, wind energy, cement, and other key sectors. We are moving from talk to action and aim to resolve the main roadblocks by the end of the decade.

The Roadmap can be found on EBI’s website: