British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association launch new environmental campaign

by | May 14, 2019

The Green Blue is a national programme created by British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association in 2005. The programme was designed to help boat owners in the UK decrease their impact on the environment.

Recently The Green Blue has launched a new campaign in conjunction with Coatings Federation (BCF) and The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA). The new campaign is designed to promote best practice for antifouling vessels in order to protect the environment.

The campaign is called ‘Protect, Collect and Dispose’ and was launched at the 2019 Marina Conference in Bournemouth.

“This isn’t just an opportunity for marinas and individuals to ensure they are adopting best practice but to encourage others to do the same and help raise awareness of the main environmental issues.”

– Kate Fortnam, Campaign Manager, The Green Blue

‘Protect, Collect and Dispose’ offers advice to boat owners who antifoul their own vessels, as well as for marinas and boatyards that offer professional antifouling services.

The Campaign Manager for The Green Blue, Kate Fortnam, said: “We have developed guidance with the BCF for antifoul application, removal and disposal to ensure hazardous paint does not enter the environment during these processes. The guidance explains how to best protect yourself and the environment, especially with regard to collecting paint debris and disposing of waste.

“This isn’t just an opportunity for marinas and individuals to ensure they are adopting best practice but to encourage others to do the same and help raise awareness of the main environmental issues.”

It’s known that antifouling works wonders when it comes to keeping hulls clean, whilst also stopping the build-up of marine organisms. There are also some environmental benefits to antifouling, such as improving fuel efficiency and preventing the spread of invasive non-native species.

However, one large issue remains, which is that antifouling can be toxic to aquatic life.

Tributyltin, or TBT as it’s otherwise known, was banned in 1987, and most antifouls are now copper or zinc based. Some of the chemical compounds in these products will often accumulate inside marine organisms, meaning they can find their way into wildlife further up the food chain, where they can cause harm.

Speaking on the British Marine website, The Regulatory Affairs Manager at the BCF, Trevor Fielding, said: “This new initiative is intended to raise awareness of environmental issues relating to antifouling amongst the boat-owning community and our UK boatyards and marinas.

“Everyone wants to do the right thing but either they don’t know how and/or they lack the facilities to do so. We hope that the information provided will help to improve the practices followed by DIY antifouling paint users, as well as those applying antifoul professionally.”

If you want to learn more about how you can be more environmentally friendly when antifouling your boats, then make sure you visit The Green Blue website today.

The group has also created a detailed leaflet, which explains how you can best protect your boat and the environment. This leaflet focuses heavily on collecting paint debris and how to dispose of waste. A weather resistant poster is also available for display in chandlers, marinas and boatyards.

If you would like to have access to these and other awareness raising materials, visit www.safeantifouling.com.

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