- Fleet - Sunreef sends message in a bottle

By Conor Feasey

Sunreef sends message in a bottle

The Polish shipyard has introduced a new eco-conscious construction method that will incorporate recycled material into the yacht structure…

Sunreef Yachts’ research and development team has initiated a project to incorporate recycled plastic PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles into the production process of their yachts’ composite superstructures. This use of structural foam, derived entirely from recycled PET materials, is an uncommon practice in yacht construction but represents notable advancement toward more environmentally conscious methods. 

The material itself is fully recyclable. PET bottles are a type of plastic container commonly used for packaging beverages, food and other household items. They are lightweight, transparent and durable, making them popular for a wide range of consumer products and known for their recyclability, often collected and recycled to produce new plastic products or fibres for textiles or, in this case, structural foam on a yacht.

The integration of recycled PET bottles into the yacht’s structural foam offers several potential benefits, including high resistance to process temperatures, exceptional chemical resistance, strong adhesion and favourable mechanical properties. The construction of a 30-metre sailing catamaran requires around three tons of foam core, equivalent to recycling around 750,000 PET bottles.

This recent development, builds on the introduction of Sunreef’s Natural Fiber Composite, with the shipyard making substantial efforts to redefine the standards of environmentally responsible yacht construction. By incorporating recycled PET materials into its vessels' structural components, Sunreef Yachts says it aims to reduce its environmental impact and set a precedent for the broader marine industry.

The shipyard's commitment to sustainability extends beyond the use of recycled materials too – it integrates various energy-efficient technologies, such as advanced propulsion systems, solar panels and optimised hull designs, to minimise environmental impact both at sea and while in the construction shed.

Incorporating recycled PET bottles into Sunreef Yachts’ structural foam represents a relatively less common but welcome development, particularly in light of the industry’s increasing focus on sustainability.

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