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First-of-its-kind electric yacht to incorporate recycled bottles in its construction: 'Another milestone'

This model requires around 2.4 tons of structural foam, the equivalent of about 600,000 recycled PET bottles.

This model requires around 2.4 tons of structural foam, the equivalent of about 600,000 recycled PET bottles.

Photo Credit: YouTube

Sunreef Yachts is already well known in the world of eco-friendly boating, with its Eco line of yachts powered by renewable energy. Now, the company is "taking things a step greener," as Electrek put it, by incorporating structural foam made of recycled bottles into its solar electric yachts. 

Since its inception in 2002, Sunreef Yachts has been focused on building ships marked by excellent craftsmanship and unique design. It's launched many catamarans and sailboats equipped with the latest green technologies, such as all-electric propulsion, custom-engineered batteries, wind generators, and the world's first solar panel system that is fully integrated into the ship's bodywork to draw more energy from the sun.

Some of the most impressive boats in its lineup include the 80 Sunreef Power Eco SÓL, which boasts the industry's largest battery bank at nearly one megawatt-hour, and the recently introduced Eco Explorer, a 40-meter electric yacht. 

While these are undoubtedly a game-changer in the superyacht industry, Sunreef is ramping up its energy efficiency by integrating recycled PET bottles into its production process for the composite structures of its yachts. PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is a type of durable plastic used to produce beverage bottles. 

While they are recyclable, fewer than 30% of plastic bottles in the United States actually get recycled, with most ending up in landfills or waterways. They can take up to 500 years to break down and release harmful microplastics and other chemicals into the environment, causing numerous health problems for humans. 

That's why Sunreef is committed to giving these bottles a second life and keeping them out of the oceans, where they can be a hazard to marine creatures. The company says the Sunreef 80 requires around 2.4 tons of structural foam, the equivalent of about 600,000 recycled PET bottles.

And the benefits go beyond cleaning up the oceans. The recycled bottle foam is extremely durable, offering "high resistance to process temperatures, exceptional chemical resistance, strong adhesion, and mechanical properties," per Sunreef.

"Following the natural fiber composite, this represents another milestone in the shipyard's ongoing efforts to redefine the standards of environmentally responsible yacht construction," a Sunreef Yachts news release stated.

Since superyachts have been under a lot of scrutiny lately for their massive pollution footprint — producing nearly 8,000 tons of heat-trapping gases annually if kept on standby, per the Guardian — any attempts to reduce their pollution are a win for both people and the planet. 

With its innovative solar technology, smart energy management features, and sustainably sourced materials, Sunreef is helping to create a cleaner future, one bottle at a time. 

While it hasn't been announced when we might see the structural foam integrated into its ships, other companies, such as Silent Yachts, are also making yachting more eco-friendly with their luxury solar-powered boats. Electric ferries are shaking up public transportation in India, offering yet another way for people to travel sustainably.

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