People who love the sea usually pride themselves on being good stewards of the environment, and luxury yacht owners are no exception. In fact, when it comes to protecting the environment, yacht owners like to lead by example, finding the right balance of enjoying all yachting has to offer, while still minimizing their yacht’s impact on the environment.

One way to do that is to make sure to always properly dispose of your boating waste and recycle whenever possible.

Marine Waste Management

Improperly disposed of, or unrecycled trash from boats, can easily end up becoming marine debris. Marine debris is any man-made item that ends up as trash in our oceans, lakes; or inland waterways. Marine debris isn’t just ugly, it is a major environmental threat.

Debris from marine waste sickens and kills marine animals and birds. It also has a serious negative impact on local economies that rely on tourism and fisheries. While it is true that nearly 80% of the trash that ends up as dangerous marine debris, comes from land, as dedicated stewards of the environment, boaters need to do their part to stem the tide!

Managing marine waste is not only a good idea, it’s the LAW! According to the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, under federal law, it is illegal to toss ANY garbage from a boat while you are anywhere in lakes, rivers, bays, sounds, and offshore in the ocean less than 3 miles. Recent changes to MARPOL (marine pollution guidelines) Annex V went into effect on January 1, 2013. All U.S. boats (commercial and recreational), must now comply with these changes. Below is a chart provided by the Foundation, that indicates what cannot be discharged from your boat.

In addition, all boats 26ft or more in length must have a written garbage placard and an oil discharge placard “prominently posted” to remind you and your crew what can be thrown overboard and what can’t. Boats 40ft and longer (which would be most luxury motor yachts) must also have a written waste management plan, stating how you deal with the collected waste onboard, who handles it, and where it is disposed.

Violations may result in civil penalties up to $25,000, a fine of up to $250,000 for an individual, or up to $500,000 for an organization and/or a prison sentence of up to 6 years. State anti-littering laws may also apply on your boating waters.

Recycling Onboard Your Boat

Of course, just as on land, paper, cans and bottles, can and should all be recycled when they are ready to be disposed of on your yacht. But, there are also many other marine specific products, that you may not use on land, that can also be recycled, helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and ensuring proper disposal of potentially hazardous materials. Monofilament fishing line for example, is very hazardous to fish and marine life and should be recycled. Check the warning labels of any marine cleaning products or supplies for how they should be properly disposed of or recycled.

On Demand Yachting Makes It Easier to Protect the Environment

Our On-demand Yachting solution can give you peace of mind when it comes to complying with waste management or any other environmental compliance issues.

We can help you with any required documentation for a waste management plan. Also as part of our routine maintenance, we will be sure that any oil or fuel is disposed of or recycled properly. We will make sure that any cleaning products used during detailing, are all EPA approved and also disposed of as directed.




Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.