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Ocean Talks: Superyacht industry discusses global plastic problem

10 June 2021• Written by Tom McGhie

The third day of BOAT International’s 2021 Ocean Talks kicked off with a live discussion on superyachts and the global plastic problem.

A panel of industry expects, including chief executive and founder of Arksen Jasper Smith, broadcaster Ben Fogle, the Water Revolution Foundation’s Robert van Tol and Vripack’s co-creative director Marnix Hoekstra, joined in the debate.

Discussion host Frederikke Magnussen, co-founder A Plastic Planet, questioned whether the superyacht industry and yacht owners are doing enough to tackle the “plastic problem”.

Co-founder of A Plastic Planet, Frederikke Magnussen, chaired the discussion

In response, the panel pointed to various industry initiatives which promote sustainability, including the Water Revolution’s newly launched Ocean Conservation project.

Fogle meanwhile spoke about the wider issues of pollution in a post-pandemic world and the importance of pragmatically fighting climate change.

“A lot of people are patting themselves on the back, thinking we’ve had a green year of no travel,” he said. “But this isn’t the case, in some ways we’re in a worse position because of the amount of PPE related wastage.”

He added: “If we try and encourage everyone to change by just 10 percent, that is going to have a deeper impact than 10 percent of people trying to be perfect. In my house we try to make as many small changes as we can.”

Chief executive and founder of Arksen Jasper Smith was on the panel

Mark Simmonds, head of policy and external affairs at the British Ports Association, was amongst the virtual audience. “It was heartening to hear people taking a proactive and open approach to dealing with a global problem,” he said. “In the week we celebrated World Oceans Day it’s fitting to discuss how every sector can play its part in securing the marine environment.”

The 2021 Ocean Talks week continues with industry expert tips from leading brokerage house Fraser on how to lower a yacht’s environmental impact.

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