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Maersk Renews and Expands Partnership to Rid Oceans of Plastic

Maersk expands and extends efforts to support removal of plastic from ocean
(photo courtesy of Maersk)

Published Jan 13, 2021 4:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

A.P. Moller-Maersk announced a three-year extension and expansion of its partnership with The Ocean Cleanup, a foundation dedicated to ridding the oceans of plastics. In addition to Maersk Supply Service providing marine offshore support, the shipping and logistics company will also provide end-to-end supply chain management services for The Ocean Cleanup’s ocean and river projects.

“As a responsible maritime operator, we are committed to ensuring that the oceans can remain a healthy environment for generations to come. We are therefore very pleased to not just prolong but broaden the partnership agreement initiated in 2018,” explains Mette Refshauge, VP, Corporate Communications & Sustainability at Maersk.

Since 2018, Maersk has provided offshore support for The Ocean Cleanup’s offshore operations. The extension of the partnership will enable the deployment of the next ocean cleanup systems as well as deployment of the foundations technology to capture plastics before they enter the oceans. As part of the partnership agreement, Maersk will also assist The Ocean Cleanup in deploying scientific sensor technology aboard Maersk’s fleet to map plastic floating in the oceans and help the organization have a better understanding of the severity of the problem they are working to solve.

Founded in 2013, The Ocean Cleanup, which is headquartered in Rotterdam, employs approximately 95 engineers and researchers developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Their aim is to achieve a 90 percent reduction of floating ocean plastic by 2040 by stemming the inflow of plastics via rivers and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. The foundation is working to develop products from the reclaimed plastics, which can contribute to additional cleanup efforts. In 2019, they launched the Interceptor, to extract plastic in rivers before reaching the ocean.

“Maersk’s support over the last three years has been invaluable to furthering our mission. We are grateful to not only renew this partnership, but to strengthen it with their end-to-end logistics service. This contribution to our mission will not only help us clean more plastic from the ocean, but it will help us to effectively deploy more Interceptors river cleaning systems, and develop our next products made of certified plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Lonneke Holierhoek, Director of Science & Operations at The Ocean Cleanup.

Besides Maersk Supply Service’s support with vessel operations and offshore project management, Maersk will now support The Ocean Cleanup with logistics end-to-end handling services, ranging from worldwide shipment from different locations to airfreight, container and special transport, customs clearance, and warehouse and storage management. Maersk will also develop a transport and supply chain manager at The Ocean Cleanup´s office in Rotterdam that will serve as the single channel to engage with the full range of Maersk’s supply chain and transport services and help to develop the supply chain management capacity at the foundation.