Suzuki develops world’s first microplastic recovery device for outboard motors
Marine plastic waste has become a significant environmental issue in the recent years and a huge amount of such wastes that has not been gathered correctly flow into the ocean. They are then broken down into micro-plastic under the natural environment and their impact on the ecological system is also becoming a concern. To tackle these issues, Suzuki focused on the structure of the outboard motor, which pumps up tons of seawater to cool the engine and then returned to the ocean. Suzuki developed a collecting device which collects micro-plastic waste utilizing the returning water. Through this device, micro-plastic waste around the water surfaces can be collected just by running the boat.
The device can be installed to a return hose easily, and it does not affect the engine performance since it only utilizes the returning water that has already been used to cool the engine. According to the monitoring research conducted in Japan, micro-plastic waste was found within the substances collected through the filter. The research is also being conducted abroad and further improvements will be made. Suzuki plan to introduce the device as an optional part from 2021 and incorporate it into the standard feature in the future.
To reduce plastic waste, Suzuki has started taking action towards reducing the plastic packaging of Suzuki outboard motor products. They adopted alternative packaging materials to some of the products manufactured in June 2020. Suzuki is currently assessing feedback from the market.For part of the Suzuki marine genuine parts, Suzuki have started replacing packaging materials from plastic to paper beginning with October 2020 shipment. Approximately 2.3 tons of plastic will be reduced every year if all packaging of marine genuine parts are replaced to eco-friendly materials. In order to clean the ocean, the Suzuki Marine Team will promote the Suzuki Clean Ocean Project together with partners and boat users all around the world.