Kia plans to use recycled plastic from a 55-ton haul recently reclaimed from the Pacific Ocean in its new electric vehicle models.
The plastic reclaimed by Kia’s global partner, The Ocean Cleanup, marks the next phase in a seven-year global partnership agreed in April 2022 as part of Kia’s sustainability efforts.
The Ocean Cleanup, an international non-profit project with the mission of ridding the oceans of plastic, landed its plastic catch at Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada, which is claimed to be a new record for the amount of plastic reclaimed from the world’s oceans.
The catch was removed from the Pacific Ocean using The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002 extraction technology following a lengthy voyage through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP ).
The GPGP is the world’s largest accumulation of floating waste and has an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres – equivalent to three times the size of France.
Recycling of the captured plastic will begin shortly, and Kia says it will use a proportion of the material in future models.
Already, Kia has successfully implemented more than 30 sustainable solutions in various product areas, including fabrics and carpets using recycled PET, bio-based alternative leather, and BTX-free paint.
In the case of the EV9, for example, up-cycled waste, including fishing nets retrieved from the ocean, is used to create the vehicle’s floor carpets. The components used in the construction of the EV9 made from recycled plastic and bio-based, eco-friendly materials weigh approximately 34kg.