Holcim starts marine recycling partnership in Philippines

Building materials provider Holcim and environmental protection body One Earth One Ocean have launched the Circular Explorer initiative in Manila to be part of cleaning coastal areas in the Philippines.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / July 14, 2022
By Liam McLoughlin
Holcim says the Circular Explorer initiative aims to help the Philippines move towards a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ economy
Holcim says the Circular Explorer initiative aims to help the Philippines move towards a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ economy

The partnership involves what is said to be a first-of-its-kind 100% solar powered catamaran, the Circular Explorer which is designed to recover up to four tons of plastic waste per day to preserve vital marine ecosystems in a sustainable way.

In parallel, Holcim and One Earth One Ocean say they are driving an education programme to help students and local communities as changemakers to take action for people and the planet.

Taking a science-driven approach for more impact, the initiative is partnering with the University of the Philippines Marine Institute to advance ocean research. With built-in sensors and micro-plastic collectors on board, it will drive live data mapping along its journey to fuel the faculty’s research programmes.   

To scale up circularity in the region, Holcim has brought together experts from the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources to non-governmental organisations such as Build Change to discuss how to shift from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ economy to a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ one.

Magali Anderson, Holcim chief sustainability and innovation officer, said: “With today's population and urbanisation on the rise, Holcim is committed to improving living standards for all by building more with less. That's why we are driving circular construction as a global leader in material recycling to build a net-zero future that works for people and the planet. The Circular Explorer is a platform to empower communities to join us to shift gears toward circular living.”

Deo Onda, deputy director for research at the University of Philippines Marine Science Institute, said: “Now more than ever, we need science to help us understand the environmental challenges we are facing and to guide us with equitable and sustainable solutions. Scientific initiatives, such as the one supported by Holcim with its Circular Explorer, are a significant contribution to these endeavours. By advancing research together, we can help educate the public and support key decision makers with relevant data to take action.”

Horia Adrian, president & CEO of Holcim Philippines, added that the Circular Explorer is a symbol of the company's commitment to sustainability.

"Walking the talk across our business, we recycled over 20 million tons of materials into alternative fuels and low emission raw materials across our operations over the past 15 years," Adrian said. "By 2024 we will become the first company in our sector in the Philippines to operate solar panels in our plants."

Holcim says its 1,070 employees across the Philippines operate four plants at the forefront of sustainability, with brands from ECOPlanet green cement to its advanced range of building solutions for resilience and repair.

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