...watch your waste

Did you know?


  • It is estimated that globally over a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die every year from entanglement, or ingestion of plastics.


  • A survey of 42 harbour authorities reported that £26,100 is spent per year in some ports to clear fouled propellers and remove debris from the water.


  • Rubbish can take a surprisingly long time to degrade. A tin can will survive 50 years under water, an aluminium can 80-100 years and glass bottles up to 1000 years.


  • Disposal of hazardous waste costs 36 times as much as general waste.




  • Do not throw anything over the side – if by accident you do – practice those man-overboard drills to retrieve it.


  • Cigarette ends can harm birds and last up to 5 years. Smokers should keep a small tin in their pocket to stub out and keep butt ends.


  • Invest in starch-based rubbish bags for short trips. They break down in 12-18 months rather than 20 years plus for regular plastic bags.


  • Prevent plastic bags, drinks cans and loose items from blowing overboard. Remove excess packaging and recycle it at home.


  • Use recycling facilities at marinas, clubs and harbour authorities – it’s the same quantity of waste just a little more effort.


  • Where possible, reduce waste, a simple one is to refill water bottles.


  • Make sure you don’t cause general waste to be classed as ‘Hazardous’ by throwing items in the wrong container, including paint tins, oily rags and old electronic instruments.


Useful information


To find out where waste is disposed of near you www.environment-agency.gov.uk.


Facts and figures from beach clean ups and surveys can be found at www.adoptabeach.org.uk 


Download a list of hazardous waste at www.thegreenblue.org.uk. Clubs and marinas should download the RYA/BMF’s Guide to Port Waste.