Holcim’s Circular Explorer to help rid Manila Bay of floating garbage

- By Jonathan L. Mayuga @jonlmayuga

GETTING rid of Manila Bay’s f loating garbage will be easier starting next year. Cement firm Holcim Philippine­s Inc. said in a news statement issued on Thursday that in lending a hand in keeping Manila Bay garbage-free, the Holcim Group will lend the Circular Explorer, a vessel that will help collect marine litter, study the pollution, and raise awareness of communitie­s and students on caring for the seas.

The company will receive in first half of 2022 from the Holcim Group the Circular Explorer, a solar-powered catamaran that can recover four tons of plastic wastes from bodies of water for recycling.

To be deployed in Manila Bay, the vessel was launched by the Holcim Group in Germany on July 21, 2021 to symbolize its commitment to driving the circular economy and preserving nature.

The Holcim Group is a leader in building solutions and recycling.

It is reusing 50 million tons of resources across its business and set to double recycling volumes by 2030.

The Circular Explorer is part of the Holcim Group’s stronger focus on sustainabi­lity and innovation, which includes the launch of the world’s first green cement made with 20 percent recycled demolition and constructi­on wastes. The Circular Explorer will be operated by environmen­tal organizati­on One Earth One Ocean and supported by Holcim Philippine­s.

To further strengthen this initiative, the company signed a partnershi­p with the Marine Environmen­t and Resource Foundation Inc. (MERF) at the University of the Philippine­s Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) on July 29, 2021 to develop innovative solutions against plastic pollution and advancing research on this field.

MERF and Holcim also agreed to develop capacity-building materials to communicat­e the effect of marine plastic pollution and opportunit­ies to change behavior.

“Everyone has a role in preserving our oceans. We are proud supporters of the Circular Explorer to be part of the solution. I am inspired to see how young change makers can act as catalysts to solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. The Circular Explorer’s education and science programs are designed to mobilize them to take action,” Jan Jenisch, Holcim Group CEO said.

“We are excited to help restore the Manila Bay through the Circular Explorer. Its focus on science and education will greatly complement ongoing clean up efforts. Through the Circular Explorer, we will further advance circular economy or the preservati­on of natural resources by reusing materials as much as possible and have a more positive impact in building progress in the Philippine­s,” Horia Adrian, president and CEO of Holcim Philippine­s said for his part.

He added: “Finally, this is a flagship initiative of the Holcim Group to advance sustainabi­lity and innovation. We are greatly motivated to drive its success here in the Philippine­s.”

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