Sails and Landfill don’t mix
We asked around how long it would take for the majority of sails to degrade in landfill. A lot of sucking of air through teeth and comparisons with other similar materials produced some rather alarming results.
Over 1000 years for sailcloth to biodegrade in landfill. Really?! Well that is not exactly scientific, but we did ask scientists, proper ones with white coats and calling themselves ‘professors’ who know what they are talking about. Indeed, there was much talk about finding mummified remains of hot dogs after 50 years in landfill so if the humble hot dog cannot biodegrade in landfill what chance does polyester or carbon fiber have, especially if mixed with a nice laminate or two!
So, what can we all do about it? We have already set up a sail collection programme on the Isle of Wight and another will follow in Portsmouth very soon. In the meantime, we are asking people to not through away their unwanted sails and to be a Wightsails recycler. As we have mentioned on other pages of this site, we can use sails in many ways and we will pay your postage if you get in touch.
So don’t DUMP sails and become a Sailcloth Recycler.
We are thinking of taking this one stage further and setting up a sail recycling organisation. If you are a sailmaker, in the marine industry or just come into contact with sails then get in touch and see how we can all work together to make this better.