World Oceans Day - Coming together to protect our seas
6 minute read
Keeping our ocean clean is key to a sustainable future. In celebration of World Oceans Day, Hyundai has partnered with two sustainable organizations. We are supporting Healthy Seas as they undertake a huge ocean clean-up in Ithaca, Greece and we’re helping Divers Alert Network as they start their European Sustainability Tour.
Celebrating World Oceans Day 2021
The second fully-virtual World Oceans Day, on 8 June 2021, was all about The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods. So, in honor of the occasion, Hyundai Motor Europe celebrated this day by supporting two activities that support lives and livelihoods which depend on the oceans.
First, by supporting our partner Healthy Seas’ ocean clean-up efforts in Ithaca, Greece. Second, by providing the diver safety non-profit Divers Alert Network (DAN) with a zero-emission Kona Electric for their European Sustainability Tour.
Tackling plastic pollution in Ithaca with Healthy Seas
Plastic pollution is a huge problem worldwide. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations, and microplastics have been found from the ocean's depths all the way to the highest mountain on Earth.
Our first partner for World Oceans Day - Healthy Seas tackles plastic pollution and removes waste from the seas, particularly fishing nets, to create healthier oceans and recycle marine litter to make textile products. The recovered fishing nets are transformed and regenerated by Aquafil into ECONYL® yarn, a high-quality raw material used to create new things like socks, swimwear, sportswear, or carpets.
Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans.
The biggest ocean clean-up yet
In Ithaca, Greece, the community has been battling all kinds of pollution for the past 9 years. In 2012, a fish farm was abandoned here, leaving fish farming cages, nets, and other equipment in the sea. Then, in September 2020, a major storm called Ianos carried tonnes of industrial material into the ocean, including plastic pipes, concrete blocks, rusty pieces of metal, fishing nets, nylon ropes, and plastic buoys. These were left on the ocean floor and later found scattered across the beaches.
The local community has done what they can, but the extent of the pollution means that they need some help. To restore Ithaca’s natural beauty, Hyundai is helping Healthy Seas with their biggest clean-up ever.
Due to the large pieces of trash in the ocean here, the Healthy Seas team needed more than divers for this job. Hyundai brought in cranes and other heavy machinery and provided hybrid vehicles to transport the crew of divers. You can follow the volunteers’ journey to Ithaca on the Healthy Seas website.
The community in Ithaca has been asking us for our support since last year. VERONIKA MIKOS - DIRECTOR OF HEALTHY SEAS
Healthy Seas’ tips for reducing plastic pollution
1. Replace plastic grocery bags with reusable cloth bags or single-use paper bags.
2. Bring a reusable coffee mug or travel cup if you get coffee to go.
3. Shop at farmers' markets where you can use your own containers.
On the road with the
Divers Alert Network Europe
Founded in 1983, DAN Europe is an international non-profit medical and research organization dedicated to the health and safety of divers. The organization works to prevent injuries and promote the overall wellbeing of divers worldwide, all while providing them with the most accurate, up-to-date, and unbiased information possible. DAN Europe also conducts underwater diving research and provides educational programs to create a more alert diving community.
DAN Europe has organized a European Sustainability Tour to promote sustainable lifestyles and corporate responsibility to protect the oceans and waterways around Europe. Their activities advocate for clean and healthy oceans and seas because world economies, global human health, and life on Earth depend on it.
Hyundai is supporting DAN Europe on their road trip through Europe by providing them with a zero-emission KONA Electric. The model is equipped with a 64-kWh battery for an estimated 484-kilometer range, according to WLTP.
Two DAN Europe ambassadors, Alana Alvarez and Manuel Bustelo will drive the electric SUV the entire 11,500-kilometre itinerary. You can also follow their journey on the Sustainable Tour webpage and social channels as well on and the Hyundai Europe Instagram account.
Hyundai and sustainability
When it comes to securing a more equitable, sustainable future for the world and its citizens, we need to be prepared to collaborate, adapt, and act. And Hyundai has already put in motion several initiatives to work towards this.
We are developing pollution-free mobility technologies such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and we’re using recycled products inside our cars like the IONIQ 5, such as sugar cane bio components, wool, and poly yarns, as well as material woven from fibers made from recycled PET plastic bottles.
For tomorrow, we won’t wait
For World Environment Day, we collaborated with BTS and other influencers. Check out the documentary we made with them about hydrogen. And, to maximize our impact and encourage cooperation and collaborations, we have also partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to create our global ‘For Future’ initiative. This is just the beginning of our sustainability story, so watch this space…