Rustibus’ eco-friendly deck maintenance tools collect cleaning debris for proper disposal, protecting the marine ecosystem from microplastic pollution. “We are transforming our 44-year-old company into a more sustainable version of itself. We intend to be leaders in environmental protection. We don’t want to be the company that didn’t pay attention to the green shift,” says Kristian Dalseide, CEO of Rustibus Worldwide.
Ships might be a bigger source of microplastic pollution in the oceans than previously thought. While conventional wisdom says that most microplastics originate from land-based sources, new research shows that in some locations, 80 per cent of microplastic pollution can be attributed to polymers used in coating binders on ships.
These figures are no surprise to Dalseide. “We’ve always known that a big part of marine microplastics comes from paint and maintenance on ships,” he says. “Most dust and debris from deck cleaning gets dumped overboard, which kills marine life and poisons the marine food chain. This is precisely why we are launching our new Rustibus ECO 2000 series.”
Rustibus delivers the new ECO 2000 series of deck maintenance tools, a greener version of its popular standard tools. The heavy-duty machines are walk-behind units that manually remove loose paint, scale, old non-skid materials, and rust from large, flat areas on ships.
While the standard version has an optional vacuum port for debris collection, the ECO 2000 series comes with a built-in waste collection bag. This ensures that debris is always collected from every machine sold. The energy from the running machine pushes the waste into a bag, which can be easily collected and properly disposed of.
Cost-effective and simple to operate, the ECO 2000 series does not require any special training or specialist PPE. “The new machines are also safer and more comfortable to operate, which improves conditions for ship workers,” says Dalseide.
The ECO 2000 machines are built with future improvements in mind. They are currently powered by electricity, air or diesel, but Rustibus is set to switch to greener alternatives when the technology becomes available. “We are planning ahead. The chassis on the ECO 2000 series already has a docking space that can hold a battery, but we have to wait for battery technology to mature. We even hope to use hydrogen fuel cells in the future,” says Dalseide. The ECO 2000 series also continues the green aspects of the standard tools, such as a 20-year lifespan and the potential to recycle old machines. Moreover, Rustibus has established the Clean Ocean Initiative, a global programme of R&D, education and collaboration aimed at reducing marine pollution from ships.
With machines on more than 12 000 ships, Rustibus already serves 10 per cent of the worldwide fleet, and Dalseide sees enormous growth potential for the new eco-friendly tools:
“There’s a generational change occurring in shipping companies. Younger people, including many women, are handling procurement based on different values. It’s no longer enough to make quality machines; your product has to be environmentally friendly. Clients used to ask about the cost per square metre; now they ask how waste can be collected.”
“Because of this fundamental shift, I believe we can double the number of machines we sell simply because we’re doing the right thing,” he adds.
Founded in 1978, Rustibus plans to give a green facelift to all its standard tools. The company has offices on four continents, allowing daily product deliveries around the world. Rustibus is also a partner in the Norwegian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai taking place in 2021-2022.
Eco-friendly deck maintenance tools for ships
Collects cleaning debris for proper disposal
Prevents plastic and toxic waste from entering the oceans