Holcim is recovering marine plastic waste in the Manila Bay, Philippines with the Circular Explorer, a 100% solar powered recycling catamaran. It is accelerating impact with its education program and science lab onboard.
Discover the Circular Explorer
The Circular Explorer is a pioneering solar-powered catamaran created to recover and recycle plastic from the world’s oceans and rivers. Built in partnership with One Earth – One Ocean, the Circular Explorer is also a vessel for education and science.
Watch the recap of our Manila Bay launch event.
Rising marine pollution
Our oceans play a vital role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystems – from the food we eat to the air we breathe. This balance is being threatened by pollution, and the statistics are alarming:
- Scientists estimate that our oceans currently contain over 150 million metric tons of plastic waste
- Each year, an estimated 8 million more metric tons of plastics end up in our oceans
- There are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans
- We currently recycle only 9% of the 381 million metric tons of waste we produce
- At the going rate, the plastic in our oceans will outweigh fish by 2050
The circular economy solution
To tackle marine pollution and clean up our oceans, we need to shift to a circular economy based on the principles of reduce, recycle, regenerate. That’s why we launched the Circular Explorer. The Circular Explorer can recover up to four tons of marine litter every day. To maximize our impact, the Circular Explorer is also an education center and scientific laboratory. We empower next-generation changemakers to take action, and collect and share data on microplastic pollution to push the boundaries of marine science.
The Circular Explorer’s mission
The Circular Explorer represents our commitment to protecting the oceans and accelerating the circular economy to preserve our ecosystems.
The Circular Explorer is based on three pillars:
Circular Explorer Close up
Circular Explorer Stats & Facts
- Length: 12.00 meters
- Width: 8.00 meters
- Draft: 0.70 meters
- Weight: 7.0 tons
- Material: Aluminium
- Lifetime of boat: 25 years
- Cleaning capcity: 21,000 sqm/h
- Waste collection capacity: 4,300 kg/day
- Fully operational through solar power
- Maximum speed of 9.7 knots
- 100% recyclable design
- Lightweight yet stable catamaran construction
- Designed for a long lifecycle
- Custom onboard system traps, collects and sorts plastic waste