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The SeaCleaners: taking action on marine plastic pollution


On World Oceans Day, we reflect on the partnership between CCI France International and The SeaCleaners, an international organisation dedicated to eradicating plastic waste from Earth’s oceans.

80% of waste in the world’s oceans is plastic – and projections show that if pollution continues at its current rate, there will be 50kg of plastic for every metre of coastline by 2024.

Businesses have a vital role to play in the fight against this crisis. To support this, the global CCI France International network is proud to support the work of The SeaCleaners, a public interest association fighting for a pollution-free ocean.

The Manta: technological innovation for cleaner oceans

In 2013, Franco-Swiss navigator and explorer Yvan Bourgnon completed a singlehanded circumnavigation of the world. Shocked by the sheer volume of plastic he found in the sea, Bourgnon was spurred on to set up The SeaCleaners, an organisation guided by three core principles: ‘act now, find solutions, and never give up’.

With the support of a team of industrial and academic experts, The SeaCleaners has developed the Manta: a first-of-a-kind ship designed to collect, treat and repurpose plastic waste in highly polluted waters.

The Manta will aim to collect up to 10,000 tonnes of waste per year, catching it before it has the chance to break down and enter the marine ecosystem. It will run on a combination of renewable energy sources and will also host educational conferences for the general public when at port.

“The SeaCleaners is fighting on all fronts,” explains Bourgnon. “Awareness and prevention, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, the transition to a circular economy, and the collection of waste on land and at sea.”

The CCIFI Challenge

The CCIFI first established its partnership with The SeaCleaners in June 2020 as a way of boosting networking activity and giving tangible meaning to the group’s CSR commitments.

This year, in association with the SquadEasy application, the network launched the ‘CCIFI Challenge’ in support of The SeaCleaners.

From Earth Day on 22nd April through to World Oceans Day on 8th June, teams of staff accumulate points by taking part in daily physical challenges, with the end goal of covering a total of 80,000km and raising €10,000.

“80,000 kilometres is the distance that the 1.5 million single-use plastic bags used in the world would travel every 10 minutes if they were tied together,” explains Anicia Oeser, Head of Communications for the CCIFI network.

“By encouraging our employees and the member companies of the chambers in the CCIFI network to take up the challenge of travelling 80,000 kilometres together, we are also making them aware of the extent of this pollution. That’s the whole point of our partnership with The SeaCleaners: to raise awareness, to raise consciousness, to mobilise.”

The SeaCleaners and the CCI France International network have been partners since June 2020. Created in 2016 by the French-Swiss navigator and explorer Yvan Bourgnon, The SeaCleaners acts against plastic pollution, both at sea and on land, through corrective and preventive missions.

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