A new campaign aims to encourage yachts to take an active role in protecting the oceans. The Clear Ocean Pact, launched last week, seeks to address the consumption of single-use plastics in the yachting world.

“I was so frustrated by the lack of understanding throughout the industry about single-use plastics,” starts Richard Orme, the founder of the Clear Ocean Pact. There has been a significant rise in the number of companies taking part in conservation campaigns, however, as the Clear Ocean Pact is not part of any company CSR or PR initiative, Orme believes the project is objective in its goals. “I felt that a non-biased initiative was needed and that I was uniquely positioned to do that because I have no ulterior motive.”

With the mission to reduce single-use plastic consumption in yachting, the pact hopes to unite the industry to work together for a common goal. “If we all try and achieve the same things, then those things tend to happen quickly and to a greater effect,” remarks Orme.

“If we all try and achieve the same things, then those things tend to happen quickly and to a greater effect.”

Although the subject of ocean pollution can seem daunting, the Clear Ocean Pact outlines how minor adjustments of behaviour on board can have a real effect on the current situation. “The impact we can make is really significant because of the nature of the industry. One small thing on a superyacht is not a small thing.” Since the launch, four yachts have already committed to taking part in the pledge, and Orme hopes for 1,000 to become involved in the next two years.

“What we need to do is take a bottom-up approach, changing the demand of consumption of single-use plastics, which can have an immediate impact,” explains Orme. “If every captain in the industry today said that they were no longer buying plastic water bottles for the crew, it would save hundreds of tonnes of single-use plastic entering the market.”

“If every captain in the industry today said that they were no longer buying plastic water bottles for the crew, it would save hundreds of tonnes of single-use plastic entering the market.”

In addition to offering advice and guidance, the organisation promotes technologies and products to dissuade the use of single-use plastics. For example, filters for water bottles. “[The filter] allows the crew to drink water from their freshwater tank supply, historically, no one wants to drink from the tanks as it’s probably not the best water to drink. You can use these filters and they last for about 10 years,” explains Orme.

The pact, which is voluntary, hopes to encourage those in yachting to address their behaviour and make small changes that can have a huge impact. The use of plastic water bottles on board is an easy adjustment to make. It is formed of the following five pledges:

1. To avoid any use of plastic bottled drinking water on board yachts.

2. To filter and safely dispose of microplastic waste from washing machines.

3. To eliminate the use of all single-use plastic items such as cotton buds, cutlery, plates and straws.

4. To reduce the use of single-use plastic toiletries.

5. To source provisions with low ‘single-use plastic footprint’ packaging.

A key part of this plan is to encourage sharing information about successful ways to tackle ocean pollution and various measures that can be implemented. Those yachts involved in the pact have the ability to submit their own ideas and join a global conversation that looks at the ways to a clearer ocean.

The campaign was officially launched at The Superyacht Forum earlier this month along with WaterRevolution, a superyacht-specific conservation group. “The ripple effect in superyachting is incredibly powerful,” concludes Orme. “The more people that get behind [the Clear Ocean Pact], the more effective it will be.”

To find out more, visit Clear Ocean Pact.


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