Microplastics pose dangers to marine life and water quality. Photo: United Nations Environment Programme

Suzuki Launches First Outboard Motor Microplastics-Filtering System

Suzuki Marine has developed the world’s first microplastics collecting system designed for outboard motors. While the motor runs, it pulls harmful plastic fragments from the water, leaving it cleaner than it was before.

The device filters water downstream of an engine’s cooling system, before it returns to the waterway. Because of its innovative design, the system does not affect cooling efficiency or operation of the engine. Installation is relatively simple in most Suzuki models 40hp and up.

Suzuki has tested the filtering system extensively in Japanese waters, where it has proven highly effective. The company has expanded research abroad and will base further improvements on these findings. The system has already demonstrated its ability to collect a wide variety of microparticle pollution, from urethane and nylon to wood chips.

Suzuki’s microplastics-collecting device installed on a motor.

Marine biologists and the scientific community, including those studying microplastics in the Chesapeake, have long recognized the dangers these microscopic bits of pollution—known collectively as microplastics—pose to fish, marine mammals and other aquatic life. This worsening problem negatively affects waterways all over the Earth. Combating this problem will require a cooperative effort by industry, the scientific community, and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.

Suzuki sees this new technology developed for its outboard motors as a positive first step in such a collaborative effort. The unveiling of this device coincides with the launch of Suzuki’s Clean Ocean Project—a new, broad-based initiative focused on reducing plastic waste and its harmful effects on the marine environment. As part of this effort, Suzuki is now reducing the use of plastics in the packaging materials of its outboard motors and parts—changes that should reduce plastic waste from business activities by approximately 2.3 tons annually.

The new filtering technology, together with Suzuki’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness and participation among outboard users, dealers, boat builders, business partners, and other industry stakeholders, is part of an ongoing campaign to benefit the environment. “We are excited about
taking this significant step, where our motors can actually be part of a solution for a critical environmental issue,” said 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,” he added.

The new device will be available as an optional accessory beginning in 2021, with plans to make it standard equipment in the future. It will also
become available for installation on existing Suzuki engines.

To learn more about this new microplastics collecting device for Suzuki outboard motors—or the company’s complete line of clean-running 4-stroke outboards from 2.5 to 350 horsepower—visit suzukimarine.com or call (714) 996-7040.

-John Page Williams