Suzuki develops microplastic collection device for outboards

Photography by: Supplied

Suzuki will launch the world’s first device for outboard engines to collect microplastics

As part of its initiative to tackle marine plastic waste issue, Suzuki Motor Corporation has developed a microplastic collecting device that can be installed on outboard motors.


With marine plastic waste becoming a significant environmental issue in recent years, Suzuki says it decided to tackle the issue by focussing on the structure of the outboard motor, which pumps up tonnes of seawater to cool the engine that is then returned to the ocean.

The new device will collect microplastic waste by utilising the returned water. Through this device, Suzuki says, microplastic waste around the water surfaces can be collected just by running the boat.

"The device can be installed to a return hose easily, and it does not affect the engine performance since it only utilises the returning water that has already been used to cool the engine," the company’s press release said.

"According to a monitoring research conducted in Japan, microplastic waste was found within the substances collected through the filter. The research is also being conducted abroad and further improvements will be made."

Suzuki plans to introduce the device as an optional part from 2021 and incorporate it into the standard feature in the future.

The device is part of the Suzuki Clean Ocean Project 2020—the 10th year of the company’s continuous activities to clean the waterside.

The project looks at reviewing how the company has been contributing to the environment and society. As well as collecting microplastic waste, the project includes commitments such as voluntarily conducting clean-up activities in seas, rivers, lakes, and ponds where outboard motors are used, and adopting alternative packaging material to some of the product manufactured by Suzuki in June 2020.

For part of the Suzuki marine genuine parts, the company has started replacing packaging materials from plastic to paper beginning with September 2020 shipment. Approximately 2.3 tonnes of plastic will be reduced every year if all packaging of marine genuine parts are replaced to eco-friendly materials, the company says.

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