By engaging with suppliers and installing an additional 33 water filtration systems across our fleet, Maersk Supply Service reduces an additional 4,300kgs of plastic over the next three years.

Sailing the oceans every day makes it apparent how much plastic is floating in the seas – and that’s only skimming the surface. With an estimated over five trillion pieces of plastic littering all major ocean basins, this is a large environmental issue to solve.

Improving Ocean Health

At Maersk Supply Service, Ocean Health is one of our sustainability impact areas. Alongside supporting The Ocean Cleanup with helping rid the oceans of plastic since 2018, we continue our efforts to reduce plastic from our own operations. Maersk Supply Service will install 33 more water filtration systems fleet-wide in 2021, enabling all active vessels to reduce plastic single-use consumption further.

Measuring impact

Through this initiative, there are several key environmental impacts.

“We project an estimated annual fleet-wide reduction of 75% in bottled water consumption. Annually, that’s approximately 72,000 1L bottles less of plastic. Over the next three years, we see significantly more plastic reduction, estimated at 4,300kgs of plastics,” says Munir Gupta, Category Manager, Services Sourcing and Contract Management.

In an internal survey, vessels reported on the effectiveness and usability of the 77 water filtration systems already installed. They reported seeing a reduction in single-use plastic bottle consumption. With an overwhelmingly positive response, several vessels requested to implement or increase the number of filtration systems available for the crew.

“Thus far, we have seen a 99% reduction in single-use plastic use consumption on vessels with a water filtration system on board. For example, within one year, Maersk Inventor saw a 94% reduction in use after installing the water filtration system. From the data of just one vessel, we clearly see that the impact of installation was huge in helping to reduce plastics,” continues Gupta.

The water filtration system installed on board Maersk Inventor.

Taking active steps to reduce plastic

At the beginning of 2021, Maersk Supply Service launched its first Plastic Policy outlining three key principles for reducing plastic from our own operations.

“At Maersk Supply Service, we are on a journey to reduce our plastic consumption. We believe that we can decrease our plastic waste significantly by working with our employees, our suppliers and other key stakeholders to find and/or develop smarter solutions. By minimising the procurement of single-use plastic, we can have a very meaningful impact, with a goal to demonstrate substantial reductions in plastic waste over the next three years. While decreasing our plastic waste makes sense from an environmental perspective, it is also a smart financial decision, with investments in filtration systems and other solutions quickly paying for themselves through lower operating expense. We are excited about these initiatives,” says COO Mark Handin. 

Our next steps are to install the additional water filtration systems across our fleet, starting with our L-Class vessels. We continue to engage with our suppliers to find solutions that remove excess plastic in our operations.

Maersk Tender, which supports The Ocean Cleanup, will have two new water filtrations installed onboard.

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