Hong Kong, January 9, 2018 – SEEKUH, the world’s first certified marine litter collecting ship worldwide, was disassembled in Lübeck in mid-November, stowed in four overseas containers and has been on a long journey to Hong Kong by container ship. In the middle of January it will arrive there and be assembled again. Then One Earth – One Ocean launches its marine litter cleanup operation in the bay of Hong Kong. The waters and beaches in front of the 7.5 million metropolis are heavily littered like in many other regions of Asia and worldwide. The SEEKUH action in Hong Kong supported by media is culminating in an official reception on 1 February 2018 at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) and aiming to increase environmental awareness and promoting the concept of “Marine Litter Cleanup” in Asia.
Plastic waste is a huge problem worldwide, also in Asia. Studies such as those of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (“Rethinking the Future of Plastics”) show that a substantial part of the plastic waste that reaches the oceans worldwide comes from Asia. This is not about pointing our finger at others. Poor environmental awareness is a problem of all countries of this earth. Instead, solutions for one of the biggest global environmental problems should be identified and the problem should be addressed on the ground.
Like many metropolis around the globe, also Hong Kong with its approximately seven and a half million inhabitants suffers from a huge flood of garbage: more than 9,000 tons of waste come together in Hong Kong – daily. The non-profit environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean eV (OEOO) from Munich, which has been working on implementing its concept of “Marine Litter Cleanup” for six years, has therefore gladly accepted the invitation to Hong Kong to take action on the problem of plastic garbage on the ground to fight. The fully donated special catamaran SEEKUH for collecting plastic waste has a size of about 12 x 10 meters (L x W) and weighs just under eight tons. Because the ship can be dismantled, it can be brought by cargo container for use in Asia or anywhere else in the world where it is needed most.
Of course, one ship can not save the world. Rather, it is about presenting the concept of “Marine Litter Cleanup” to decision makers from politics and the local economy. The aim of the project is to clean the oceans and inland waters of plastic garbage with garbage collecting vessels of different sizes specially developed by OEOO. In a first step, the visible plastic waste is fished with special catamarans, sorted and crushed. This is then recycled or reconverted into oil. From a ton of pre-sorted plastic garbage you can recover about 800 liters of sulfur-free fuel oil. While waste is still being separated and recycled ashore, OEOO plans to build a self-sufficient energy ship in the next few years – the so-called SEEELEFANT (elephant seal). This converted container ship with a depolymerisation plant on board produces fuel from the plastic waste and can either sell it to neighboring countries or serve as a mobile filling station on the high seas.
Supporters of the project in Hong Kong
The entire campaign in Hong Kong as well as the transport of the SEEKUH to and from Hong Kong is financed by donations. For example, the logistics company Kühne und Nagel and the shipping company Hamburg Süd cover the costs of transport by container ship to Hong Kong. The company Interpac Control GmbH took care of the professional packaging of the SEEKUH in the containers free of charge. Li & Fung supports us in the on-site handling. At this point to all sponsors a big thank you!
On February 1, 2018, we will hold a reception at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum where people who play an active role in environmental issues including leaders in the commercial and environmental sectors in Hong Kong will be gathered together. In this context, Günther Bonin will present the work of OEOO and promote his concept of “Marine Litter Cleanup”. The SEEKUH will anchor directly at the pier of the museum and can be visited.
“With the cleanup operation in Hong Kong, One Earth – One Ocean e.V. shows that we are not leaving it with UN Marine Conference intentions, but that we are globally active in marine littering,” said Günther Bonin, founder and entrepreneur of the association. “We are all the more pleased about the lively interest and support in Hong Kong. Our concept of “Marine Litter Cleanup” is sustainable, globally scalable, energy-oriented, applicable by humans for humans and already applicable today. We hope that the local economy picks up on our ideas and applies them to their region, because plastic waste is ultimately also a raw material with which to earn money. But as long as that has not arrived in people’s minds, we will continue to dump millions of tons of plastic into the environment each year. ”
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Li & Fung is the world’s leading supply chain solutions partner for consumer brands and retailers. The company provides design, development, sourcing and logistics for major retailers and brands, specializing in managing supply chains of high-volume, time-sensitive goods with over 21,000 people in around 250 offices across 40 economies. CD, the company’s European body care brand, is the sponsor of One Earth – One Ocean’s tour to Hong Kong.
Sustainability is integral to Li & Fung’s business, with a focus on creating positive societal and environmental impact to improve communities across our network. The Li & Fung Foundation is the corporate foundation of Li & Fung, harnessing our strengths, global networks, knowledge and people, to make scalable, sustainable positive impact. We are an organization that thrives on change, and embraces innovation and a forward-thinking mindset. We are looking at solutions that can be scaled globally, drawing upon different perspectives and diverse experiences. We want to work with big thinkers, share open-source ideas and convene the biggest hearts and minds to create scalable, sustainable change. In our interconnected world, we know that the future lies in the hands of us all.
One Earth – One Ocean e. V.
The environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean based in Munich-Garching aims to free waters from plastic waste, but also oil and pollutants. On the world’s oceans already giant plastic garbage floats, the largest of which in the Pacific is as big as Central Europe, i. such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Luxembourg, Hungary and the Czech Republic. If pollution continues to advance at the current rate, the oceans will be completely overgrown in a few years’ time.
Founder of One Earth – One Ocean (OEOO) is Günther Bonin, former owner of an IT company and avid sailor. His vision of “Marine LItter Cleanup” is divided into several stages: In a first step, the plastic waste is collected, sorted and shredded on the seas using specially developed ships. Separation and recycling of the waste takes place ashore. At a later stage, the collected plastic is to be reconverted directly into oil on board tankers. From a ton of plastic can recover about 800 liters of oil. Since 2015, Bonin has redesigned its IT company into a water purification company to provide administrative support to the association.
What sounds like the utopia of an idealist now takes concrete forms. More than 100 companies and private individuals, including the Röchling Foundation and Deutsche Telekom AG, support the project in different ways. Thomas Hahn, who co-designed the winning ship of the America’s Cup at BMW Oracle, also supports OEOO in the development of garbage collecting ships. In the spring of 2018 SEEKUH will be operating in Hong Kong.
In 2013, One Earth – One Ocean e.V. was awarded the prestigious GreenTec Award 2013, Europe’s largest environmental and business award, for its concept of Marine Litter Cleanup. In 2016, it was nominated for the Federal Ecodesign Award, the highest honor for ecological design in Germany. Finally, in 2018, the club was nominated for the Ocean Tribute Award by Prince Albert II of Monaco, who recognizes the most innovative and sustainable marine conservation ideas.
For more information, please visit https://www.oneearth-oneocean.com or the Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Earth-One-Ocean/163573257046660
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