GLOBAL PLASTIC CONSUMPTION HAS NOW REACHED OVER 320 MILLION TONNES  per year and much of it finds its way into the ocean.

So, Auckland-based skipper Hayden Smith is doing something about it – with the help of Mercury Marine. Since 2002, Hayden has been running Sea Cleaners, a not-for-profit organisation that now operates four boats full-time off Auckland’s coast.

Sea Cleaners has collected more than 10.9 million litres of rubbish from the coast of Auckland.

“We have filled 325 shipping containers with loose litter, collecting over 98 million pieces of rubbish and our volunteers have spent over 160,000 hours working with us,” says Smith.

Sea Cleaners’ fleet is powered by Mercury SeaPro commercial outboards:  “I can’t speak highly enough of the Mercury SeaPros – they’ve been incredible,” Smith said.

“Each of our boats is a different size, but each outboard we have fits perfectly the exact power specifications we need. The engines make getting up on the plane – with thousands of litres of rubbish and several volunteers onboard – feel easy and comfortable.

“We’ve also seen first-hand just how fuel efficient these engines are. We get great results out of our boats, but the engines don’t need to work too hard. The savings we’ve made are significant, and obviously it really helps us in an environmental sense too.”

SeaPro commercial-grade outboards are tough, reliable, powerful and efficient. They are engineered for commercial use, using heavy-duty components with models ranging from 15hp to 500hp.

Sea Cleaners is currently building six new boats to give them 10 boats running full-time around the coast of New Zealand. These will also be powered by Mercury SeaPro engines.

Mercury Marine New Zealand’s Manager, Dean Harris, says it’s a relationship that Mercury is proud to have.

“Sea Cleaners is an amazing organisation. To be able to help sponsor such an important cause has been a great opportunity for Mercury. As Sea Cleaners continues to expand, we look forward to giving them our full-support,” says Harris.