Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, the majority of which spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels the ocean currents, before getting caught in a vortex that creates huge floating rubbish dumps. Kia has now partnered with The Ocean Cleanup to help tackle the problem.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, said: “The key to Kia’s vision for a sustainable future is not just to change the product and service areas, but to make positive changes for the planet.” The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands, developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic.
The Ocean Cleanup is developing systems that can collect the floating plastics caught swirling in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, as well as developing the first scalable solutions to efficiently intercept plastic in rivers before it reaches the ocean. The latter required developing large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal, known as Interceptor Solutions.
Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup said: “Plastic is not inherently a bad material, but we must use it responsibly. We demonstrate how we can turn pollution into a solution by launching applications that help clean the oceans and simultaneously – together with our partner Kia – provide proof that recycled plastic can be used sustainably.”
Kia will support The Ocean Cleanup financially to initiate ocean and river cleaning projects and help with supplies to support ocean operations and the construction of the various river-cleaning devices. Kia will also supply four electric vehicles to the organisation’s headquarters in the Netherlands.
How the recovered plastic will be used…in your next Kia
In return, The Ocean Cleanup will also supply usable fractions of the collected plastic and share the organisation's research results and relevant data on reducing plastic pollution with Kia. The idea is to create a resource circulation system that will help avoid harvested plastics ending up back in the environment. The plan is to recycle part of the “catch” from The Ocean Cleanup back into Kia’s production chain over the next seven years.
All of which fits in nicely with Kia’s commitment towards a more sustainable future, announced when it unveiled the all-new Niro at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show in November 2021.
The new Kia Niro will use sustainable materials developed from recycled wallpaper, eucalyptus leaves, and water-based paint to minimise the impact on the environment and reduce waste.
Kia plans to continuously expand its eco-friendly materials throughout the vehicle, including a plan to phase out the use of animal leather in all vehicles in the future. Adding a little recycled ocean plastic to the mix makes perfect sense, and it also helps Kia’s target of using 20% recycled plastic by 2030.
Head over to our main Kia leasing page, to see the models that are using eco-friendly materials.
All images courtesy of “The Ocean Cleanup”.
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