Currently boats are seldom recycled, as this is technically and logistically difficult and uses a great deal of energy.
Due to its unique Polypropylene (PP) injection moulded construction, Toppers however can be recycled up to 4 times, are highly durable, require little maintenance and can be brought back up to specification even after several decades of use.
Recycling of polypropylene is emerging as an important, and economically viable, option on a large scale. The main benefit of recycling PP is the reduction in the consumption of raw, finite resources, such as oil and propane gas. It is estimated that around 8% of the oil used worldwide (around 400 million tons) is implemented in the traditional methods of plastic production. Relative to new plastic production from oil and gas, there is up an 88% reduction in energy usage if plastic is produced from recycled plastic. Given its inherent flexibility, PP can be recycled back into many different products. ITCA World is working on a full academic study of the recyclability of Topper polypropylene hulls, allowing those beyond the scope of reactivation to be ground down to pellets and reused in the injection moulding process.
Under the Learn to Dream project, redundant boats from affluent nations that can be reactivated are sent in their ‘raw state’ alongside reactivation kits to partner amateur sports clubs and trusts in countries designated as Emerging Nations by World Sailing. Training is given to the partner amateur clubs or trusts and their underprivileged sailors on how to reactivate the boats, whilst also them giving them work experience and skills transfer that can ultimately lead to a career in marine engineering or boatbuilding.
Recycle and reactivate unwanted Toppers at your club to help teach others to sail and learn new skills in Emerging Nations, by contacting the Learn to Dream team.
Donate a sail.
We are also collecting ex-race sails that still have some good life left in them to power reactivated boats around the globe. Please get in touch if you have recently upgraded to a new sail and wish to donate the previous one - it would be much appreciated - thank you!