New from old

Rope recycling at Jimmy Green Marine
Rope coiled and hanging from a cleats at the mast

Splicing ropes generates significant quantities of offcut waste. Conscious of saving this from ending up in landfill, and wanting to reduce their environmental impact, Jimmy Green have worked with rope manufacturers to ensure as much rope as possible is recycled.

Jimmy Green Marine stock LIROS and Marlow ropes. Both these companies use DSM Dyneema for their high-performance lines, and they now supply this rope as sustainably as currently possible.

Recycling journey

Marlow’s Blue Ocean rPET rope range is made from recycled polyester. Impressed by its sustainability credentials, Jimmy Green stock the full range of BlueOcean Dockline and Double-Braid. These sustainably sourced fibres offer an excellent alternative to standard polyester lines which rely on fresh raw material.

Dyneema fibre is synonymous with high-performance yachting ropes. However, the carbon cost of creating the various grades of Dyneema is very high. DSM have developed a new bio-based manufacturing process to tackle this problem. The waste product from the timber and pulp industries provides the raw material to produce Ethylene, a key component of Dyneema. Mass balancing in the production process has revealed a certified 90% reduction to the carbon footprint during manufacture. The new bio Dyneema has been specially developed to make it 100% recyclable, great!

LIROS introduced a rope recycling scheme in Germany some years ago, but it was only suitable for polyester, nylon and polypropylene fibres. After assessing the cost and viability Jimmy Green began returning their polyester, nylon and polypropylene offcuts to LIROS. An in-house process was soon implemented to achieve fibre separation from the general waste. Once separated, the different fibres are stored in wooden crates outside the chandlery until a suitable weight/volume has accumulated for shipment.

Once it became clear that the systems introduced could cope with the rope waste, a local rope recycling scheme was launched to make it available to everyone, including individuals, sailors and clubs.

Continuing the journey in the UK

The first cautious steps into rope collection for recycling are now complete. The hunt is on to find a suitably environmentally friendly rope recycling facility in the UK to reduce the carbon impact and cost of the shipping. The possibility of a high-performance fibre recycling service is also tantalisingly almost within reach. With this in mind, the trimmings and offcuts of Dyneema, Vectran, rPET and Technora are stored separately to be ready for this next step.

Team Jimmy Green are optimistic that the amount of rope that is collected for recycling will continue to increase as awareness improves. The immediate plan is to augment the in-house splicing waste with worn out and used ropes and rigging.

Although this is just a start, recycling ropes feels like progress towards a more sustainable future, and the general-waste bins are already lighter!

The good news is that this is only one part of the Jimmy Green environmentally conscious effort. Visit the Jimmy Green Environment and Sustainability page for more information.

You are also very welcome to get in touch if you think you can help, or want to share your experiences with Team Jimmy Green.