Maersk extends support to The Ocean Cleanup

Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is one of the biggest environmental issues of our time, impacting nearly 700 marine species and contaminating the marine food chain with toxic pollutants.

The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit project with the mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic. Since 2018, different technologies have been tested with the support of Maersk Supply Service’s and A.P. Moller – Maersk’s logistics and marine activities. 

The Ocean Cleanup has now successfully established a system which can consistently capture significant quantities of plastics from the ocean. The next step for The Ocean Cleanup is to validate the system from an engineering and ecological perspective, allowing it to demonstrate to governments, institutions and other funders that there is a viable technology available to clean the oceans from plastics.

Maersk Supply Service, A.P. Moller – Maersk and The Ocean Cleanup have agreed to extend their collaboration to complete the validation of the system. 

Maersk Supply Service and A.P. Moller – Maersk will provide support to the program, which includes project management, the operation of two Maersk Supply Service vessels towing the system as well as logistics services for waste collection and transportation for recycling. At the same time, the A.P. Moller Foundation will provide a one-time grant to The Ocean Cleanup.

The system validation is expected to be finalized by end of 2024 and will include an environmental review of the impact of plastic pollution versus the greenhouse gas emissions of vessels involved.

When the technology and system has been validated, The Ocean Cleanup believes it will be able to raise support from the public, governments, and other foundations to significantly scale up the operation from 2025 onwards.

Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, said: “Maersk Supply Service and A.P. Moller – Maersk have been instrumental on the journey from initial concept to a working system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and I am tremendously grateful for their commitment to get us towards the point we are ready for scale-up, with the additional donation from the A.P. Moller Foundation being a welcome contribution to our 2024 mission.”

Robert M. Uggla, CEO of A.P. Moller Holding and Chair of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “The Ocean Cleanup holds an important mission to remove plastics from the oceans, one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. 

“Today plastic pollution impacts hundreds of marine species and it contaminates the marine food chain with toxic pollutants. With this in mind, Maersk Supply Service, A.P. Moller – Maersk and the A.P. Moller Foundation have decided to extend support to The Ocean Cleanup to finalise and validate their technology and system.”

The agreement between Maersk Supply Service, A.P. Moller – Maersk and The Ocean Cleanup will run until end 2024.

Photo credit: iStock/ Wirestock

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