Yamaha Rightwaters launches plastic recycling program

Working in conjunction with Nexus Fuels of Atlanta, Ga., and Tommy Nobis Enterprises, of Marietta, Ga., Yamaha Rightwaters aims to return 10,000 pounds of Polyethylene and Polypropylene sheet plastics back into their base materials before the end of the calendar year. It will serve as a proof of concept for an envisioned national program intended to reduce plastic waste in the nation’s waterways.

Yamaha officials discussed the project in detail to an audience of conservationists, anglers and legislators at the 2021 Kenai Classic Roundtable on Recreational Fishing on August 18, 2021.

“Yamaha’s support of conservation action began almost three decades ago with the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) and its efforts to conserve the Kenai and other rivers in Alaska,” said Martin Peters, who leads sustainability initiatives for the Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “The tradition of conservation led to the creation of the Yamaha Rightwaters sustainability program in 2019, and it’s most appropriate that we announce our latest Yamaha Rightwaters initiative during the Kenai Classic Roundtable on Recreational Fishing, an event founded by KRSA and Yamaha in 2013 as a national forum to discuss the issues and policies affecting recreational fishing.

“Water drives every Yamaha Rightwaters program,” continued Peters. “We created Yamaha Rightwaters to take on issues that affect the clean water upon which we all depend. Polyethylene and Polypropylene make up a large part of the plastic litter in our oceans, affecting the marine life that lives there. We see this effort to keep plastics out of our oceans and our landfills, and a step to assure sustainable, healthy stocks of fish in our rivers and oceans.”

Yamaha developed a reverse logistics program to return the protective covers from select boat builders, retail dealers and two of its boat production facilities, Skeeter Boats of Kilgore, Texas, and Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing of Vonore, Tenn. The materials will ship to Tommy Nobis Enterprises, which will separate recyclable plastics from other materials, such as plastic zippers, cords and eyelets. Tommy Nobis Enterprises will then ship the material – known as feedstock in the recycling industry – to Nexus for processing into raw materials, which range from gasses to waxes. Those raw materials will be used for other products.

“The Yamaha Rightwaters sustainability efforts are pushing the marine industry into a new realm of conservation, and the Nexus team is optimistic and enthusiastic about this plastics recycling initiative,” said Jean Jordan of Nexus Fuels. “It’s our hope that together, we can validate this pilot program and expand it in the near future.”

“When we saw the Nexus pyrolysis process at work last year, we were excited and knew this was the best possible solution for these materials, some of which are difficult to recycle with other methods because they are a mixture of the two materials, both Polyethylene and Polypropylene,” said Peters. “Nexus is the only operation that has proven end-to-end they can economically take Yamaha Marine’s waste plastics and convert them into virgin circular polymer with partners like Chevron Phillips and Shell Chemical.”

“Of course, there is a cost,” he said. “Part of the purpose of the pilot is to determine how to reduce the cost of reverse logistics so that we are able to create a system-wide, national program.”

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