Maersk fleet to help Ocean Cleanup map plastic concentrations at sea

The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to rid oceans of plastic. Up to now, Maersk has provided marine offshore support to this mission. This cooperation will now be renewed and extended to also cover end-to-end supply chain management services. In addition, the Maersk fleet will be used to map plastic concentrations in the oceans.

To clean up plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, The Ocean Cleanup aims to both stop the inflow via rivers and clean up what has already accumulated in the ocean. Its ultimate goal is reaching a ninety per cent reduction of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

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

Also read: Ocean Cleanup to catch plastic in rivers

Maersk fleet to map plastic concentrations

As part of the partnership agreement, Maersk will also assist The Ocean Cleanup in deploying scientific sensor technology aboard Maersk’s own fleet to map plastic floating in the oceans and help the organisation have a better understanding of the severity of the problem they are working to solve.

The goal is to assist The Ocean Cleanup in mapping concentrations of harmful plastic in the world’s oceans to better focus The Ocean Cleanup’s efforts. ‘What better way to map the oceans than to harness one of the world’s largest fleets?’ says Robin Townley, Head of Special Project Logistics at Maersk.

Logistics end-to-end handling services

Besides Maersk Supply Service 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 & special transport, customs clearance and warehouse and storage management.

‘We will have a transport and supply chain manager fully embedded in The Ocean Cleanup´s office in Rotterdam. That program manager will serve as the single channel for them to engage with the full range of Maersk’s supply chain and transport services globally and will help The Ocean Cleanup to develop their own supply chain management capacity over time,’ adds Refshauge.

‘Maersk’s support over the last three years has been invaluable to furthering our mission,’ states Lonneke Holierhoek, Director of Science & Operations at The Ocean Cleanup. ‘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.’

Also read: VIDEO: The Ocean Cleanup ready to start cleaning

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.