New arrangements for disposing of redundant marine pyrotechnics, known as flares, are being rolled out by the recreational boating industry.
On the 31 December 2022, the current HM Coastguard flare disposal scheme will end. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been working with Department for Transport and the sector to find a service of the same standard to replace it.
His Majesty’s Coastguard has been providing a voluntary and temporary scheme since 2010 from 17 of its stations and the RNLI at its headquarters in Poole, Dorset. The new arrangements, supported by both British Marine and the RYA, provides a searchable online map, hosted on The Green Blue website, showing links to businesses offering disposal services across the UK.
Claire Hughes, Director of His Majesty’s Coastguard, the frontline emergency service of the MCA, said she welcomed the innovative approach from the industry. She said: “This is a very important breakthrough and I’m very grateful to British Marine and the RYA together with the wider marine and waste disposal industries for working to find and provide a solution to this ongoing challenge. Providing disposal services for these redundant marine pyrotechnics is really important as they can put public safety and the marine and coastal environment at risk.
“Also, by doing this, the industry is helping and supporting HM Coastguard by making sure we can be fully focussed on saving lives at sea and supporting coastal communities in making our coast and waters a safer place for all.”
The new arrangements, which will continue to be updated over time, will offer solutions to not only boatowners, but also provide guidance and advice to businesses, such as yachting and boating clubs, chandlers, marinas and boatyards, who may see business opportunities in offering their members and customers local solutions.
Although HM Coastguard will continue to receive old flares from the public until the end of the year, the new arrangements will be in operation from now to provide an overlap and resilience.
Find out more about the planned changes to HM Coastguard’s flare disposal service by visiting the GOV.UK website.
You can search for your nearest flares disposal point now via the Environmental Facilities Map on The Green Blue's website.
Watch the below webinar presented by British Marine and the Department for Transport for further details.