The Circular Explorer successfully completed the first part of its journey in the Baltic Sea

Five months ago, the first of its kind solar-powered recycling catamaran, Holcim’s Circular Explorer, embarked on its journey to take action to preserve the oceans.

Inaugurated by the Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard and endorsed by the Solar Impulse Label for Efficient Solutions, the Circular Explorer started its first waste recovery and education mission in the Baltic Sea.

Starting in Hamburg, Germany, the recycling catamaran headed towards several stopovers across Northern Europe to take action on marine litter and raise awareness of plastic pollution.

In partnership with the environmental organization One Earth One Ocean, the Circular Explorer supported different operations from Germany to Denmark, focusing on recycling, education and science.


A solar-powered recycling machine, recovering and recycling plastic waste before it enters our oceans.

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Accelerating the Circular Economy

Working wIth a team of divers from the Kiel Scientific Diving Association, the Circular Explorer helped to recover over a ton of marine litter, retrieving ghost nets, fishing lures and other forms of marine litter.

In a series of educational workshops, students could visit the vessel, taking and analyzing water samples and learning how to reduce, reuse and recycle in order to preserve the oceans and accelerate the circular economy.

The workshops provide a platform for the students to explore microplastic pollution in their local environment hands on. We place a lot of emphasis on education.


Building on the testing phase in Germany, the Circular Explorer will continue its journey to take action where it matters most - starting its operations in 2022 in the Philippines, which accounts for one-third of the river plastic that ends up in the ocean.

In addition to recovering and recycling waste from Manila Bay, the Circular Explorer will again provide a platform for education and scientific research, engaging with local communities to raise awareness and partnering with the Marine Institute of the State University in Manila to advance marine science.