Highest environmental honours of the UN! The jointly initiated project "Blue Circle” by Veolia Huafei has been named the 2023 Champion of the Earth

On October 30th, Veolia, in collaboration with its partners, won the UNEP (The United Nations Environment Programme’s) Champions of the Earth, the UN’s highest environmental honour!

On October 30, 2023, the UNEP officially announced in Nairobi that under the guidance of the Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government, the "Blue Circle" project, initiated and implemented by Zhejiang Lanjing Technology and co-sponsored by Veolia Huafei, has been named the 2023 Champion of the Earth for Entrepreneurial Vision, one of the United Nations’ highest environmental honours, in recognition of our outstanding contributions to tackling plastic pollution. "Blue Circle" is the only Chinese project to win this award this year.

The Champions of the Earth Award, the UN’s highest environmental honour, recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. In 2023, UNEP’s Champions of the Earth seeks innovations, solutions, actions and initiatives working to Beat Plastic Pollution.

In this year's global review, the "Blue Circle" project was nominated by Huang Runqiu, Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, and jointly recommended by Christophe Maquet, Senior Executive & Vice President of Veolia Group and Director of the Asia Pacific Region.

We are very honoured that Veolia's Blue Circle project has been awarded the 2023 Champions of the Earth. As a global leader in ecological transformation, Veolia hopes to recycle high-quality marine particles for reducing marine pollution and achieving decarbonization and carbon reduction through the successful implementation of the innovative cooperation model "Blue Circle" project, and work with local governments, partners, industrial and commercial customers to protect the earth's resources and marine environment, and jointly defend the earth's ecology!

——Christophe Maquet
Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia
Director of the Asia-Pacific Zone

Remove plastic pollution and create a marine "Blue Circle"

Since December 2019, Veolia, together with its partner Zhejiang Lanjing Technology, and with the support and guidance of the Department of Ecology and Environment of Zhejiang province, has created a new model of "Blue Circle" marine plastic waste recycling:

What is the "Blue Circle"?

Blue Circle created a digital platform dedicated to combating marine plastic pollution. Within this system, fishes and coastal communities are entrusted with the responsibility of collecting plastic waste from the marine environment, which is subsequently sorted, recycled, and regenerated at Veolia Huafei’s plastic recycling plants. Through downstream processing companies, the recycled raw materials are transformed into textiles, packaging for daily necessities, and other goods, thereby re-entering the consumption sector.

The "mighty" power of the “Blue Circle"

Veolia collects marine waste from these collection stations and transports to Huafei’s plastic recycling plant. At Veolia, marine plastic materials are processed through physical cleaning, descaling, high-temperature sterilisation, sorting, and crushing, and transformed through melting and extrusion into high-quality recycled marine plastic particles which can then, through reprocessing deformation, become products relating people’s daily life, like clothing, home appliances, digital electronics, daily necessities packaging and etc.

Veolia Huafei has processed approximately6 millionplastic bottles from the ocean

The "Blue Circle" project has achieved a total of61,600participations in governance by various groups

A total of approximately10,800tons of marine waste have been collected, including 2,200 tons of plastic waste, effectively improving pollution in coastal waters

The success of Blue Circle demonstrates that environmental sustainability and economic benefits are mutually reinforcing. By utilising our integrated blockchain traceability system, we have successfully generated notable environmental advantages, resulting in reduced operational costs, and effectively enhancing the local community's environment while contributing to marine cleanliness. Compared with virgin plastic, recycling ocean plastic reduces carbon dioxide emissions and avoids the consumption of natural resources such as petroleum. Moreover, these marine plastic materials hold the first Chinese certification for recycling and regeneration of marine plastic, awarded by Germany's authoritative certification, TÜV Rheinland.

Prior to winning the UNEP’s Champions of the Earth, Veolia China had already been awarded Circular Economy Pioneer by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and ESG Environmental Leadership Award by Comité France-Chine.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China considers the practice of " Blue Circle" worthy of nationwide implementation. With further support from the Chinese government, the "Blue Circle" is expected to be significantly expanded in 2026 to cover 289 ports in nine coastal provinces and two municipalities.

Anji - Zhejiang
Veolia Huafei Plastic Recycling Plant

By expertises on resource reuse, Veolia Huafei manages and recycles 170,000 tons of plastic annually. Huafei strictly adheres to Veolia Group's production safety and operation guidelines, and its high-quality PCR-PET, PCR-HDPE, and PCR-PP products are ensured with stable performance, and they are widely used in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, packaging, and home textiles to help customers and partners to achieve ecological transformation.