Suzuki has announced a unique device for outboard engines that removes micro-plastics and other pollutant material from the ocean. The product, expected to be available late this year, is part of the company’s three-prong initiative — the Suzuki Clean Ocean Project — designed to reduce plastic waste and use.
The Suzuki Micro-Plastics Collecting Device can be installed under the cowling of select Suzuki outboards 40 hp and up. It filters ocean water after it has passed through the cooling system and before it exits the engine. The company says it does not impact the driving performance or cooling efficiency of the engine.
Suzuki has partnered with Costa’s Kick Plastics campaign in that company’s five-year-old commitment to throttling back plastic use. Costa says micro-plastics — defined as plastic particles about the size of a rice grain — can be found throughout the world’s oceans. About 10 million metric tons each year add to the estimated 150 million tons already polluting the seas.
In addition to releasing the collecting device, Suzuki has committed to reducing its own plastic use with regard to packaging materials. Thirdly, Suzuki has already been conducting voluntary cleanup activities in seas, rivers, lakes and ponds where outboards are used throughout the world.
The new collecting device will be optional at first, Suzuki says, with plans to eventually make it standard. The retail cost of the part was unavailable.
Water flows through the filter on its way out of the engine. When the filter is full, water bypasses the filter and flows directly out.
Suzuki couldn’t yet specify how often the device’s filter would need replacing; much depends upon where and how often the outboard is used. But boat owners should be able to swap out filters themselves as part of basic ongoing maintenance.
When the filter fills with debris, water can easily bypass it and flow out unimpeded until the filter can be changed.
“We are excited about taking this significant step, where our motors can actually be part of a solution for a critical environmental issue,” says Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. President Max Yamamoto. “We have long recognized that Suzuki customers are avid fishermen and boaters who care about the environment. This is something we can do together to protect our oceans, lakes and rivers so that future generations can enjoy them.”