Torqeedo orange propellers ‘going green’ with recycled ocean plastics.

One of the most recognizable symbols of electric boat motors – the Torqeedo orange propellers – are about to ‘go green’ as engineers on a special team have been testing prototypes made of recycled ocean bound plastics.

The company says there are three goals for the initiative:

  • reduce the environmental impact of its products
  • help create a circular economy for used plastics and
  • prove the viability of high-recycled-content plastic parts and products.

Every year, an estimated 14 million tons of used plastics end up in the world’s waterways and, finally, the ocean. These plastics entangle wildlife, break down into hard-to-remove microplastics, and litter our human and natural environments.

Torqeedo has established a new Advanced Engineering Team that, among other tasks, explores alternative materials to further minimize the environmental impact of its recreational and commercial marine products.

New Torqeedo orange propellers ‘within a year’

They are testing recycled ocean-bound PET and PP plastic pellets, which are estimated to reduce the source material’s CO2 impact by more than 80% and are very close in quality to virgin plastic due to strict processes and advanced recycling equipment.

Florian Deger, who leads the project within the Team, says “The typical way to integrate new materials is to start with a small percentage – maybe with just 10 or 20% recycled content. However, we decided to aim higher. We made our prototype propellers from 100% recycled ocean plastics, and we’re thrilled to report that they surpassed all benchmarks in the first round of environmental and stress testing.”

Torqeedo orange propellers being compared to recycled plastic version by engineering team
Alex Oswald (L) and Florian Deger of Torqeedo’s Advanced Engineering Team inspect new propellers

After some slight adjustments, he said, “we will produce the next prototypes in Torqeedo orange. These will be very similar to our propellers in use today. If the next testing rounds are as successful as expected, the first Torqeedo products containing ocean-bound plastics will hit the market within a year.”

Many manufacturers hesitate to use recycled materials because of outdated perceptions of inferior material quality. Advances in recycling technology have changed that, and Torqeedo believes that a circular economy for plastics can be established today without negatively impacting product performance and durability

Torqeedo-Ocean Bottle program at Cannes, Dusseldorf

Torqeedo is no stranger to participating in projects that help clean and protect waters. At the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2023 they began partnering with Ocean Bottle to reduce plastic pollution. The bottles were also given to everyone who took part in the company’s simulator at Boot Dusseldorf.

Ocean Bottle has prevented over 1 billion plastic bottles from reaching the oceans by working with three global partners to collect plastic in areas where plastic pollution is worst. The sale of every Ocean Bottle funds the collection of 11.368 kg of ocean-bound plastic (the equivalent in weight to 1,000 plastic bottles).

Torqeedo President Fabian Bez said “These initiatives have prevented more than 1.2 million plastic bottles from entering our oceans.”

“Respect for our natural and human environment is part of Torqeedo’s core. If we fail to intervene, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the fish,” continued Bez. “Integrating ocean plastics into our products is another important step in building a more sustainable marine industry.”

“We’re helping to develop a circular plastic economy and transforming used plastics from trash to treasure. Collecting used plastic for recycling only becomes economically viable when there is a market for the recycled material, and we’re proud to lead the way in closing the loop.”

Establishing a circular plastic economy

“This is why we established our new Advanced Engineering Team at Torqeedo,” he concluded. “Every step we take toward lowering boating’s environmental and climate impact improves our human and natural environments and helps to preserve our boating lifestyle.”

“It feels good to hold one of the prototypes in my hands,” said Dreger “and know we are keeping plastic bottles and pollution out of the waters we all love to explore on our boats.”

Torqeedo website  Ocean Bottle website

Torqeedo in Plugboats

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