Best Practice Litter


  • Set an example to students by not throwing any litter (including biodegradable waste) overboard
  • Prevent plastic bags, drinks cans and loose items from blowing overboard. Ban loose lightweight items such as sandwich wrappings or yokes on 6 packs from coming up on deck.
  • If litter does find its way overboard, use the opportunity to practice your man overboard procedure
  • Cigarette ends can last up to 5 years and can cause birds to starve if swallowed. Provide butt boxes for stub ends
  • Invest in biodegradable rubbish bags. They break down in 12 to 18 months rather than up to 500 years
  • Remove as much excess packaging as you can before you go out on the boat
  • Where possible reuse items such as plastic bottles and boxes
  • Separate waste on board into recycling and landfill


  • Provide/use suitable onboard and shore side facilities to dispose of rubbish
  • Provide recycling facilities and encourage your members or students to use them. Remember that recycled waste can be up to 50 % cheaper to dispose of than waste going to landfill
  • Where possible purchase products with the minimum amount of packaging
  • Dispose of old electrical equipment as WEEE
  • Old sails can be recycled by specialist companies and given a new life as clothing, deckchairs or sunshades.
  • Find a new home for old unwanted equipment at Boat Jumbles or Freecycle

Find out more

Leaflets and Resources