Kia to Recycle 55-Ton Plastic Haul in Vehicles

September 5th, 2023 by

Kia will be utilizing a recycled 55-ton haul of plastic recovered from the Pacific Ocean in its new EV models. The record-breaking haul was reclaimed by Kia’s global partner, The Ocean Cleanup. This comes as part of a seven-year partnership established in April 2022 as part of Kia’s transformation into a leading force in the movement for sustainable mobility solutions.

The catch was found at Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada using the non-profit’s unique extraction technology, following a lengthy voyage through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). This accumulation of floating waste is the largest in the world and is roughly three times the size of France.

Some of Kia’s other implementations of sustainable solutions include fabrics and carpets made from recycled PET and upcycled fishing nets providing materials for the EV9’s floor carpets. 

Immediately after bringing the record haul to shore, The Ocean Cleanup announced the introduction of its new System 03 technology. Almost three times larger than their previous system, it can capture much larger quantities of plastic at a lower cost. It also features more sophisticated environmental monitoring and safety technology, such as a new Marine Animal Safety Hatch designed to protect marine life. This scale-up marks the next phase towards The Ocean Cleanup’s objective of removing 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

Kia remains committed to creating a sustainable planet and improving the well-being of future generations. This strategy encompasses the brand’s continued and growing support of The Ocean Cleanup. As a show of support for the partnership, the Kia logo and colors will be represented on the overalls worn by the crew of System 03.

Charles Ryu, Senior Vice President and Head of the Global Brand & CX Division at Kia Corp., commented: “The record catch of plastics brought to shore by The Ocean Cleanup for recycling is tangible proof of how technology can deliver sustainable solutions at scale. Kia’s partnership with The Ocean Cleanup demonstrates the brand’s commitment to having a positive impact. Initiatives such as this one perfectly align with Kia’s transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider and our Plan S strategy, through which we embrace the needs of our customers and the protection of our environment by acting as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Nisha Bakker, Director Partnerships of The Ocean Cleanup, added: “This record delivery marks the end of the System 002 era for The Ocean Cleanup, and the perfect platform as we launch System 03. We are moving forward step-by-step, and we believe that System 03 represents the size of system required to scale up and expand our cleanup in the most economical way. Beyond System 03, we plan to deploy a fleet of systems that together will be capable of removing 50 percent of the GPGP every five years. However, we cannot do this alone. Committed and valued partners, and particularly our global partner Kia, remain essential for The Ocean Cleanup to bring our shared ambitions of plastic-free oceans to reality.”

If you’re interested in supporting this cause by investing in sustainable vehicles, Kia Country of Charleston has you covered.