Case studies

Cleaning up the oceans

25 June 2019

The only way the plastic issue can be alleviated is by working all together, contributing with the best of our capabilities and engaging ourselves into groundbreaking solutions. This is the main reason for Maersk to keep supporting The Ocean Cleanup in the relaunch of its upgraded drifting system to the Pacific.

We sail the oceans every day and see the plastic problem growing. At current levels, by 2050 our oceans will contain more plastic than fish. With an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste littering all major ocean basins. This crucial problem is a high priority on our agenda. That´s the reason why Maersk Supply Services keeps providing offshore project management and vessel operations support to a re-developed offshore cleaning system.

A unique mission

In 2018, Maersk Supply Services partnered with The Ocean Cleanup in a unique mission, removing plastics from our oceans. They spent three months at the Pacific Ocean testing and collecting relevant data. Due to a structural malfunctioning of the cleanup system, The Ocean Cleanup took the decision to return to port earlier than planned to -based on findings and data- upgrade the system.

Following six months of onshore work, The Ocean Cleanup is now ready to re-send its upgraded passive drifting system to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located roughly midway between California and Hawaii.

In Maersk we believe that, setbacks like this are inevitable when pioneering new technology and we know that, being in port has provided The Ocean Cleanup with the opportunity to make upgrades to a system that it is expected to be back at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by the end of June 2019.

MAERSK TRANSPORTER

MAERSK TRANSPORTER, an anchor handling tug supply vessel, is heading now towards the North Pacific where will be deployed for approximately one year, collecting plastic from the ocean with specially made long floating screens, attached to the vessel, collecting plastic debris for recycling.

The partnership with The Ocean Cleanup is a natural fit for Maersk Supply Service who bring different areas of expertise to the table which, combined, play a key role in developing a solution to one of the world’s most important environmental issues.

The Ocean Cleanup´s aim is improving advanced technologies to rid the plastics from the oceans, impacting as little as possible marine animals, protected species as well as plankton and macrofaunal communities of the areas.

The Ocean Cleanup´s long-term ambition is to install a fleet of at least 60 floating screens to re remove 50% of the 80,000 tonnes of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every 5 year.

The largest cleanup in history

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation, developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. By utilising the ocean currents to its advantage, the passive drifting systems are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to receive weekly updates from Maersk on rates and information relevant to your business.