One of the top yacht racing series in the world, the 52 SUPER SERIES last year took their sustainability mission beyond plastic pollution awareness and will continue to do so in this years series. They are also working on eradicating the often overseen chemical run off that occurs from harmful chemically based cleaning products, which ends up in the oceans and causes immense damage. In order to ensure no chemical contamination, the 52 SUPER SERIES have been working with partners like Ecoworks Marine.
Ecoworks Marine, a forward-thinking producer of sustainable, marine-benign boat cleaning products, have supplied the teams and the organisation with their “Preserve the Living Seas” range of eco-friendly and MARPOL (MARine POLlution) compliant boat cleaning products.
As early adopters, “Gladiator” and “Provezza”, two teams competing in the 52 SUPER SERIES have been using the “Preserve the Living Seas” range from Ecoworks Marine since the start of the 2017/2018 winter training period. Boat captain, Feargal Finlay, reports: “During the winter, the Gladiator Sailing Team has used the full range of cleaning products from Ecoworks Marine to clean not only the yacht and the chase boat, but also domestic items such as our lunch boxes and cutlery, and the benches of the container. So far, we have been very happy with the results; plus, it’s always nice to keep a new paint job looking fresh! It also feels better knowing the products we use are supporting the local ecology and are environmentally friendly.”
In an industry where manufacturers of cleaning products are not required to list ingredients, and words such as “natural”, “non-toxic”, “organic” or “biodegradable” remain largely unregulated, using Ecoworks Marine cleaning products aboard is a positive development for the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet.
“In traditional chemical cleaners there are a number of ingredients that are potentially harmful to human health, the environment and the surfaces on which they have been targeted to work,” explains Scott Johnston, CEO of Ecoworks Marine. “They generally clean by burning the dirt off using very high or very low pH acidic or alkaline solutions that, over time, gradually degrade the surface.”
The most important point to ensure sustainability is to select only eco-friendly ingredients from the outset, in terms of hazard profile and aquatic toxicity,” continues Johnston. “We replace undesirable ingredients wherever possible with eco-solvents, plant and fermentation extracts, naturally derived sustainable surfactants (soaps) and naturally occurring non-hazardous bacteria and enzymes. This ensures cleaning products that are not only less hazardous to the environment, but safer for the end user as well.”
Johnston also explains that recent regulations have ensured that surfactants pass a more rigorous biodegradability test. If surfactants do not fulfil the criterion of ultimate biodegradability within the given time period, they must pass the test for ‘primary’ biodegradability. That means that claiming a product is ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘green’ on account of its biodegradability is somewhat misleading, as essentially all surfactants used in detergent formulations should satisfy the regulation’s biodegradability criteria. Biodegradability is a standard requirement, not a standalone property that makes a product environmentally- or eco-friendly.
“Supplying the competing 52 SUPER SERIES teams, and our own organisation with the Ecoworks Marine ‘Preserve the living seas’ product range is greatly helping us to become the most sustainable sailing circuit in the world,” says Lars Böcking, 52 SUPER SERIES Chief Sustainability Officer. He continues: “With all eyes on our circuit, we are presented with a great opportunity to make a difference. To lead by example, inform, and influence. And we look forward to doing that together with Ecoworks Marine.”
Johnston highlights: “We are delighted to be an Official Sustainability Partner to the circuit. The 52 SUPER SERIES are exactly the type of partners we enjoy working with, as we all share the same goals. By supporting a benchmark racing programme, with such high sustainability standards, together we are sending a very solid message to the rest of the sailing community.”
All Ecoworks Marine products are bio-renewable and sustainably formulated to minimise the stress, acidity and impact on the marine environment. The full range can be seen here – www.ecoworksmarine.com.
Ecoworks Marine Ltd.,