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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Solar-powered vessel raises awareness on marine conservation

The Circular Explorer continues to make progress in its mission as an ambassador vessel for circular living and to support the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

A partnership between the Holcim Group and One Earth – One Ocean (OEOO), the solar-powered Circular Explorer is raising awareness on the importance of a circular economy, which includes reusing materials for as long as possible to prevent wastage and conserve natural resources.

“We are proud to see the Circular Explorer in action and responding to the enormous challenge of marine pollution. The vessel also plays a key role in amplifying our message on the importance of circularity to preserve natural resources and minimize wastes. Already, we are advancing circularity, having recycled around 600,000 tons of waste in our operations in the first half of 2023 while also advocating for policies on the use of construction and demolition wastes in new structures,” said Holcim Philippines president and CEO Horia Adrian.

The Circular Explorer is also advancing research on marine plastic pollution while collecting wastes to support Manila Bay’s cleanup. In September 2023, the vessel has collected 18,415 kilograms of wastes including 7,965 kilograms of plastics covering an area close to 3.84 million square meters.

The Philippine Coast Guard Marine Environmental Protection Command helps in the daily cleanup. A partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is also in the works to align the Circular Explorer’s activities with the agency’s initiatives for Manila Bay rehabilitation.

The vessel is spreading awareness on the importance of a circular economy against marine wastes through an education campaign with advocacy organization Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation.

“With the first months of cleanup-operations, a vision has become reality. We are now actively helping clean Manila Bay with this unique prototype vessel. I am stoked to see even more important milestones coming up soon, as we are about to do the next exciting steps towards consolidating our education and scientific pillars. Many thanks to Holcim for being such a reliable and strong partner in this,” said OEOO Circular Explorer Project Manager Daniel Scheler.

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