Going Green to Save the Blue

A new collaborative effort in the charter yacht industry to reduce the use of plastic water bottles on charter yachts, worldwide lies at the heart of a campaign instigated by the Charter Yacht Brokers Association International (CYBA)

Having formed a “Green Committee” earlier this year to undertake  efforts to make the Charter Yacht Industry more environmentally friendly, the CYBA has recognised that many pristine areas of the world where charter yachts operate  have no means of recycling.

With almost all trash generated ending up in landfills and plastic bottles especially problematic as they can take over 400 years to decompose the CYBA have instigated a campaign entitled “Going Green to Save the Blue”.

They have established that the majority of Charter Yachts are capable of installing watermakers which make pure, filtered water.

They association believes that if charter guests are willing to drink the yacht’s “tap water”, the industry can prevent millions of plastic bottles from going into landfills.

Already the Charter Yacht Society of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) encourages its members to offer charter guests on board, purified water made with the yacht’s water maker system.

Several BVI yachts have already installed systems that filter and chill desalinated water on board and the numbers of those doing so are growing.

They then give guests reusable water bottles as gifts. Yachts without water makers on board are making a difference by purchasing water in larger bottles and decanting it into pitchers or reusable bottles.

The CYBA Committee has contacted the major charter yacht central agencies and invited them to support the initiative by revising the yacht specification sheets, including information about each yacht’s handling of on board drinking water and plastic bottle waste.

This information is invaluable to charter brokers when reviewing yachts for guests. They have also been asked to inform all the captains in their fleet about the initiative. To date, over half of the central agencies have announced their support.

Other charter yacht resources, such as Central Yacht Agent and The Charter Yacht Index are supporting the initiative by revising their specification sheets to include this information.

Talks are underway with MYBA – The Worldwide Yachting Association, to include this information on their site, YachtFolio.

CYBA has also enrolled 90% of its members to take the “Green Pledge” by agreeing to implement five environmentally sound practices in their workplace. These include client education, modifying preference sheet forms to include offering a yacht’s purified water as an alternative, adopting an office recycling policy, going paperless whenever possible including the use of e-brochures and supporting those yachts that are “going green”. 

“The response has been tremendous and we are achieving some unexpected results,” says committee chair Trish Cronan of Ocean Getaways. “We have been contacted by non-CYBA member who want to join in our efforts and we are delighted to share our information.

The Virgin Islands Charter Yacht League (VICL) is adopting the same  initiative at the St Thomas Charter Yacht Show by giving all of the brokers reusable water bottles.

Regency Charter Services has taken it a step further by listing information such as using eco-friendly paper products, biodegradable sunscreen or yachts participating in reef checks.”

CYBA members will be out in force at this season’s upcoming Charter Yacht Shows, proudly wearing green t-shirts and raising awareness about the importance of environmental issues in the industry. CYBA is sponsoring a seminar, “Going Green to Save the Blue”, at the Antigua Charter Show and welcomes all to attend.