EU Dialogue on EOL Recreational Craft 2 modifiee 002 - EuCIA

On 18th March, Global Recycling Day, EuCIA joined policymakers, experts from the European composites and boating industries, and other stakeholders, in Brussels for the EU Dialogue on End-of-Life Recreational Craft. This meeting was organised by the European Commission DG MARE, Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2024, and European Boating Industry (EBI) to advance sustainable solutions for the increasing number of recreational boats reaching the end of their service life.

The meeting shared best practices and considered the further steps needed, on a technical, legal, and political level. The participants unanimously agreed that locating, collecting and dismantling the composite parts used to manufacture most of these boats, and then accessing composites recycling companies, are key challenges.

In his presentation, EuCIA’s President, Professor Roberto Frassine, offered EuCIA’s perspective on the circularity of composites. This emphasised that composites are circular materials because re-use is possible, either in open loop or closed loop recycling. The composites recycling ecosystem is developing rapidly: recycling into cement is available now, and additional solutions are emerging. To increase the circularity of composites there is a need to improve systems for collection, sorting and transportation of waste, and develop markets for secondary materials.

To enable this transition to a circular economy for boating there’s work to be done, at national, regional and European level, and the event participants agreed that stakeholder cooperation is essential.

Robert Marx, President of EBI, commented: “As we move forward, it is imperative that the momentum generated by this conference translates into concrete action. … Industry is ready, the technology is ready, and we now need to set up the regulatory framework to make it happen. We are delighted to have the support of the European Commission and Belgian Council Presidency in this endeavour.” (Read the EBI press release.)

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