Disposal of plastic end-of-life-boats
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Disposal of plastic end-of-life-boats

Of Europe’s approximately 6 million boats almost half are found inthe Nordic countries. In spite of the long durability of plastic boats,the problem of End of Life Boats (ELB) now starts to arise. However,the responsibilities are unclear and there is no regulation on howthe dismantling and disposal is to be conducted. Investigations havebeen going on in the various Nordic countries on how to performscrapping of plastic boats, but there is yet no consensus on how tohandle the problem. The aim of this study was to provide information on statistics onboats in the Nordic countries and relate to the future need forscrapping plastic boats (ELB). More specific, the project dealt withthe magnitude of dumping of boats, contents of contaminants inELBs as well as possibilities for reuse and recycling of materials. Part of the project was to organize a Nordic Workshop with essentialstakeholders and their views on ELB is compiled in this report. The project provides a good background to the problem of disposingof boats and highlights the various issues that must be addressed. Since the scrapping of boats is a future waste problem which needto be solved, this project is relevant to many different stakeholdersfrom boaters, boat organizations, shipyards, waste companies andgovernment institutions at various levels.

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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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Since the 1950s leisure boats have mostly been constructed of plastic materials and between 1950 and 2012 a great number of new plastic boats have been sold. These boats have a long life expectancy and can last between 30 and 50 years, which means there has been an accumulation of leisure boats in society. Today the Nordic countries have just under half of all the 6 million leisure boats in Europe. However, although the boats will reach their end of life, most Nordic countries have no national regulations on how to dispose of them. In Finland a private initiative is establishing a national system to take care of boats that need disposal. Because the number of ELB is increasing, having systems for disposing of boats will become a more important issue.