31.08.2022 Press release

Recovering 23.5 tonnes of waste to boost circular economy: impressive first half of 2022 for Hyundai Motor and Healthy Seas’ partnership

  • After Hyundai Motor and Healthy Seas extended their partnership earlier this year, their 2022 activities kicked off in May
  • Partnership activities have consisted of clean-ups, as well as prevention and educational programmes for children and communities, in Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK
  • So far in 2022, Hyundai is delivering on its ‘Progress for Humanity’ vision by supporting Healthy Seas in collecting more than 23.5 tonnes of waste from the oceans
  • In the second half of 2022, Hyundai and Healthy Seas will complete a third large clean-up in South Korea and hold three educational programmes on marine conservation in France, Italy, and Germany
  • The partnership supports circular economy thanks to Healthy Seas’ founding partner Aquafil, which regenerates recovered ghost nets, together with other nylon waste, into ECONYL® that is later used in the floormats of IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6

Press material

Since the second year of their partnership kicked off , Hyundai Motor and marine conservation organisation Healthy Seas have organised four events across five European countries: Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK. As the partnership continues to combat marine pollution, nurture sustainable marine ecosystems, and support a circular economy, this year, it also aims to extend its activities to more regions and involve more local communities.

So far in 2022, the partnership’s events have ranged from waste collection activities, such as beach clean-ups and diving events to recover lost or abandoned fishing nets (ghost nets) to educational programmes to teach children and local communities about the importance of keeping the world’s oceans clean.

To drive the circular economy, Healthy Seas’ founding partner Aquafil regenerates the nylon parts of the recovered fishing nets, along with other nylon waste, into ECONYL® yarn. This regenerated nylon yarn is used to manufacture sustainable products, such as swimwear, carpeting, and floor mats for Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 electric vehicles.

Hyundai Motor is committed to delivering ‘Progress for Humanity’ in everything we do. In addition to transforming into a Smart Mobility Solutions Provider, we are also playing a role in keeping Europe’s seas and waterways clean for generations to come and working closely with Healthy Seas to hold educational programmes. Following a successful first year of Hyundai’s partnership with Healthy Seas, it is remarkable to see what we have accomplished in the first half of 2022. We will continue to expand and reach out to more communities, more children, and our employees.

Michael Cole President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe

Return to Ithaca

One year after Healthy Seas – with the support of Hyundai – executed its largest clean-up ever at the abandoned fish farms at Cape Makria Pounta on Ithaca, both partners returned to the Greek island to kick off 2022’s activities by removing the remaining waste and pollution. The impact of this second clean-up was global, attracting visitors to Ithaca who wanted to see the difference themselves.

Compared to last year, this event incorporated more community participation. On top of the local fishers and volunteer divers assisting in 14 clean-up locations around the island and the educational programmes on marine and sea protection and the circular economy for local children, Healthy Seas took local fishers to polluted remote areas, so they could ‘fish for litter’ during the off-season. Through the ‘Fishing for Litter’ initiative, the fishers will receive compensation for the waste they collect while helping restore the island’s beauty.

The ‘Return to Ithaca’ project involved ten organisations and partners and a project team of 45 people, including 15 divers. Roughly 180 children from Ithaca participated in the educational programmes, and in total 23.5 tonnes of waste were recovered, including 18.5 tonnes of nets, such as several hundred metres of gillnets and long lines, and 25 large fish farming nets, and five tonnes of other marine litter.

Cleaning coral reefs in Tossa de Mar

At a two-day event in Tossa de Mar, Spain in June, Hyundai supported Healthy Seas by organising an underwater clean-up and an educational programme. On the first day, a group of five volunteer divers from Ghost Diving Spain collected approximately 30 metres of gillnets that were tangled 30 metres below the surface in the coral reefs of Costa Brava.

The next day, 70 students, teachers, and representatives from Hyundai and the media participated in an interactive educational programme. Along with a presentation about marine conservation and the circular economy, the schoolchildren played educational games and immersed themselves in Healthy Seas’ virtual reality experience.

From Waste to Wear

Later in June, Healthy Seas and Hyundai held an event at Luka Krnica Bay in Croatia, one of the three major clean-ups the partnership has planned for 2022 – the first one being in Ithaca and the final one in Korea.

On the second day of the event, a team of 14 volunteer divers from Croatia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria welcomed journalists and Hyundai representatives. At Luka Krnica Bay, the diving team collected several hundred metres of nets, including gillnets, sardine nets, and longlines.

The following day, guests learned more about the circular economy during a tour of the Aquafil warehouse in Ajdovščina, Slovenia and the ECONYL® plant in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Combatting ghost nets at Tate Modern

In July, Hyundai, teachers, and volunteers helped Healthy Seas organise an event at Tate Modern in London for a group of 61 Year Five pupils from Charles Dickens Primary School. Following a presentation on ghost net pollution and the circular economy, the schoolchildren enjoyed educational games.

Hyundai and Healthy Seas’ CSV projects are having a remarkable impact on the waters surrounding Europe. With the outstanding support from volunteers, the results of the clean-ups have already made a profound difference for the local communities they took place in.

In the second half of 2022, Hyundai and Healthy Seas will complete the third of three major clean-ups in October. This will also expand their activities beyond Europe, with the ghost net removal event set to take place in South Korea.

In addition to this clean-up activity, the partnership will commit to bringing awareness of marine pollution to even more people in Europe. An additional three educational activities – in France, Italy, and Germany – will take place this year, helping younger generations understand their crucial role in fighting that pollution and providing them with strategies to live more sustainably.

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