Brand Talk


Kia plans to use recycled plastic from a 55-ton haul recently reclaimed from the Pacific Ocean in its new Electric vehicle (EV) models.

Kia’s global partner, The Ocean Cleanup, has achieved a record-breaking plastic reclamation milestone, signifying the next phase of their seven-year global partnership established in April 2022. This partnership is a pivotal part of Kia’s transformation into a leading provider of sustainable mobility solutions.

The Ocean Cleanup, an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating plastic from the oceans, recently brought a substantial amount of plastic ashore in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. This remarkable achievement was made possible using The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002 extraction technology, following an extensive journey through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), the world’s largest accumulation of floating waste, covering an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers—equivalent to three times the size of France.

The reclaimed plastic will undergo recycling shortly, with Kia intending to incorporate a portion of this material into its future vehicle models. This aligns perfectly with Kia’s commitment to delivering sustainable mobility solutions that have a substantial impact on promoting sustainability on a large scale.

Kia has already implemented more than 30 sustainable solutions across various product areas, including recycled PET-based fabrics and carpets, bio-based alternative leather, and BTX*-free paint. For example, in the case of the EV9, Kia’s flagship 7-seat all-electric SUV, waste materials, including ocean-retrieved fishing nets, are upcycled to create the vehicle’s floor carpets. Approximately 34kg of recycled plastic and eco-friendly bio-based materials are used in constructing the EV9’s components.

Following the successful retrieval of the record haul, The Ocean Cleanup has unveiled its new System 03 technology. This new system is nearly three times larger than System 002 and can capture significantly larger quantities of plastic at a reduced cost per kilogram, operating continuously throughout the year. It also boasts advanced environmental monitoring and safety features, including a Marine Animal Safety Hatch designed to protect marine life. This advancement represents the next phase in The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

Kia remains resolute in its dedication to a sustainable planet and the well-being of future generations. This commitment is exemplified through its ongoing and expanding support for The Ocean Cleanup, with the Kia logo and colors adorning the crew’s overalls on System 03.

Charles Ryu, Senior Vice President and Head of the Global Brand & CX Division at Kia Corp., remarked, “The record-breaking retrieval of plastics by The Ocean Cleanup for recycling serves as tangible evidence of how technology can deliver scalable, sustainable solutions. Kia’s collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup underscores our commitment to making a positive impact. Initiatives like this align seamlessly with Kia’s transition into a provider of sustainable mobility solutions and our Plan S strategy, reflecting our responsibility as a corporate citizen to meet our customers’ needs while safeguarding the environment.”

Nisha Bakker, Director Partnerships of The Ocean Cleanup, added, “This historic delivery signifies the conclusion of the System 002 era for The Ocean Cleanup and serves as the ideal platform for the launch of System 03. We are taking gradual steps forward, and System 03 represents the necessary scale to expand our cleanup efforts in the most cost-effective manner. Beyond System 03, we plan to deploy a fleet of systems capable of removing 50% of the GPGP every five years. However, we cannot achieve this alone. Committed and valued partners, particularly our global partner Kia, remain essential for The Ocean Cleanup to turn our shared vision of plastic-free oceans into reality.”

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