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The Circular Explorer begins mission to clean up the ocean

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

The Circular Explorer, developed by One Earth One Ocean and made possible by Holcim, has started its mission to clean up our ocean from plastic waste, while advancing marine science and education. Putting the circular economy to work, the catamaran has the capacity to recover four tons of plastic waste daily which it recycles into new applications from new products to alternative energy. To empower broad-based action, it runs an education programme targeting students as changemakers, and serves as a science laboratory to advance marine research in partnership with leading marine institutes.

Inaugurated today in Hamburg, Germany, in presence of Bertrand Piccard, Swiss explorer and environmentalist, the 100% solar powered catamaran, starts its journey in the Baltic Sea, with the kick-off of its education and science programmes. In 2022 it will be deployed to the Manila Bay in the Philippines, which the country’s government and private sector partners are rehabilitating, to start its plastic recovery and recycling work.

Bertrand Piccard, founder Solar Impulse Foundation: “Since my round-the-world solar flight in 2016, I have given to the Solar Impulse Foundation the challenge of identifying 1000 solutions to protect the environment in a profitable way. It is fascinating to see the potential of innovation to turn world challenges into opportunities. The Circular Explorer is a great example, with its vital mission to push the boundaries of the circular economy to protect our ocean from plastic waste. I am excited to witness it as it embarks on its journey and will follow every step of its action.”

Günther Bonin, oeoo: “With One Earth - One Ocean we have been working to protect marine ecosystems since 2011. The Circular Explorer is our most advanced experiment to date. Fully powered by solar energy and designed to recover four tons of plastic waste per day, I look forward to seeing it make a real difference.”

Jan Jenisch, CEO Holcim: “Everyone has a role to play to preserve our ocean. We are proud supporters of the Circular Explorer to be part of the solution. I am inspired to see how young changemakers can act as catalysts to solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. The Circular Explorer’s education and science programs are designed to mobilise them to take action.”

Starting its journey in Germany, the Circular Explorer will spend three months in the Baltic Sea, with a focus on driving its education and science programmes, while participating in key events, such as Climate Week in Hamburg. In 2022, it will relocate to Manila Bay in the Philippines to start its plastic recovery and recycling work, while advancing its education and science programmes and engaging with local communities.

As it launches the Circular Explorer, Holcim becomes a partner of the Solar Impulse Foundation to contribute to its mission of driving clean technologies that are good for the planet and commercially sustainable. The partnership builds on Holcim’s 17 efficient solutions labelled by the Solar Impulse Foundation as positive for the planet, such as ECOPact, the world’s broadest range of green concrete enabling carbon neutral construction around the world. See more Solar Impulse Foundation endorsed solutions here.

As a world leader in recycling, Holcim is launching the Circular Explorer as a symbol of its commitment to driving the circular economy and preserving nature. On its net zero journey, today Holcim recycles 50 million t of materials across its business, on its way to 100 million t by 2030. At the forefront of green building solutions, Holcim launched the world’s first green cement with 20% recycled construction and demolition waste inside, representing 20% less materials drawn for nature, building more with less.

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