The RQYS management committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Speaking with General Manager Shawn Ket, Commodore Ian Threlfall and Vice Commodore Mark Gallagher, Ocean Crusaders were told that the committee has approved the ban to come into place once alternatives are sought. At present the club are seeking alternatives and in our interview they had water in a tetra pack that still had a plastic cap on it. This option had been tried as the packaging was bio-degradable, however with the plastic cap and the fact that the product was imported, hence had used a lot of resources to come to Australia, it has been decided to look further afield.
When asked why the ban would be put in place, Shawn stated ‘The impact on the environment is just too much. We as sailors need to ensure our oceans are clean and we decrease the amount of waste we are creating.’ Ian stated ‘It is really important that we do this and we come up with a viable option that allows all club users access to quality water, preferably Brisbane’s great tap water, we don’t want thirsty sailors!’
The committee are taking into account that youth regattas, off the beach regattas and keel boat regattas all take place out of the club and hence the requirements for water are varied and numerous. The club is looking into local providers of Stainless Steel drink bottles and are aware that many of the bottles on the market, actually have a plastic lining in them. Mark Gallagher stated, ‘We want to support local companies and we need a bottle that contains no plastic, or if it does, is BPA free.’
Ocean Crusaders will now work with RQYS to offer alternatives such as water vending machines, water filtration systems and drink bottles so the club can implement the ban as soon as possible. Ocean Crusaders Founder Ian Thomson stated ‘It is fantastic to see one of Australia’s leading yacht clubs move in this direction. The amount of plastic water bottles that are used in yacht races is astounding and at the end of every race you will always find half-drunk bottles in rope bags or in the bin. Aside from the obvious plastic waste, bottled water is not healthy for us with BPA’s (the chemical in the plastic to make it soft) leeching into the water proven to cause Autism, ADHD and cancer among other diseases.’
Ocean Crusaders will soon have a range of S/S water bottles available with an option of a soft cover to protect your boat from damage. Covers will also have the ability to hook onto the boat so you won’t lose it overboard. In addition they are developing a set of Environmental Management Regulations for offshore regattas to ban the use of plastic bags in provisioning a vessel, ban plastic water bottles smaller than 10 liters and encourage the use of S/S water bottles. In addition a complete ban on plastic utensils and straws would be enforced. Any club or organisation interested in knowing more should contact Ocean Crusaders at firstname.lastname@example.org
An update will be posted once RQYS has found a suitable solution to providing quality drinking water to its members and sailors that is environmentally friendly and ethical.
Clean Oceans make us all winners!!!