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COP21 - Great success for the Race for Water Foundation

Race for Water Foundation concludes its visit to the City of Lights where it presented its solutions programme against plastic water pollution at Le Bourget, the Grand Palais and aboard the largest solar-powered vessel in the world, named Race for Water. The Foundation also introduced two distinguished new ambassadors: Tony Estanguet and Gerard d'Aboville. Race for Water solar vessel is now heading towards Lorient (France), where she will start her 2016 campaign from.

15 December 2015

Race for Water Foundation representatives have been in Paris since the 25 November with the ambassador vessel, taking part in a multitude of events and conferences throughout COP21. At Le Bourget (in the Blue Zone as well as in the Climate Generation area), at the Grand Palais and aboard its solar vessel, the foundation successfully gave the oceans of the globe a voice. These conferences, placed under the label of solutions, were indeed very successful and allowed to bring the message of the urgency to act to preserve our oceans. The Foundation also inaugurated the “Plastic Pollution: from impact to solutions” exhibition on board the Foundation’s flagship, displaying its solutions programme and pilot projects to be launched from 2016 on.

The solution? Give plastic waste a value

Inspired by the principles of social entrepreneurship, the Foundation plans to prevent waste from entering the waterways by giving it a value through an innovative technology that transforms waste into electricity. This model generates social, environmental and economic benefits and several coastal cities are already interested to implement it as of next year. Throughout the implementation of the solutions programme, the solar ship will serve as a versatile platform, as president of the Foundation, Marco Simeoni explains:

“Race for Water is an amazing tool to attract public and media attention to our cause and our message. It is a very versatile vessel which allows the Foundation to present innovative solutions that give end of life plastic a value, to raise awareness, and to host scientists studying plastic pollution in the marine environment. She is therefore an exceptional scientific and communication platform for the foundation, a unique tool to shine a spotlight on the cause.”

During its stay in Paris, the Foundation also presented the ‘Collector’, a prototype boat that can collect macro waste in bays, lakes and rivers. It was developed by MOD SA and the Naval Industrie Lorientaise boatyard on behalf of Race for Water Foundation and has a cleaning capacity of 5,000m2 per hour with a yield of 500kg/hour. Waste absorbed at the front of the vessel travels to deck level on a conveyor belt before being stored in containers. Portable and versatile, the ‘Collector’ meets the needs of the community and the cleaning companies no matter the expanse of water. This vessel contributes greatly to the pioneering solutions the Race for Water Foundation wants to action in 2016.

Tony Estanguet and Gérard d’Aboville join Race for Water

Following this Parisian stopover, Race for Water Foundation is delighted to welcome Gérard d’Aboville, captain of the solar ship, and Tony Estanguet, triple Olympic Gold medallist to the organisation as ambassadors. A member of the Sport and Environment Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Tony Estanguet describes the motives behind his commitment:

"As a former high-level athlete, water has been my daily and favorite playground for over 25 years. It is therefore with great pleasure and pride that I now commit myself alongside the Race for Water Foundation to preserve the resource that changed my life. When Marco Simeoni presented his project to me, I was immediately wowed by his constructive and solutions driven approach. I hope I can also contribute to the success of this amazing project through my ambassador role."

Both ambassadors will promote the Foundation’s cause during future missions to prevent the plastic pollution of water.

With COP21 in its wake, the solar ship Race for Water is currently en route to Lorient in Brittany where she is expected to arrive before Christmas. The flagship will be based there until the 2016 campaign to implement pilot projects that counter plastic pollution, starting from March 2016.

For more information on the Foundation 2016 programme please go to:

For more information about the Race for Water solar vessel:

About the Race for Water Foundation

The Race for Water Foundation is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of water. This indispensable resource is under massive threat from plastic pollution and must be protected. The Foundation aims to identify, promote and implement solutions that will give end-of-life plastic a value and to create new sources of income for the people most affected by pollution. Using an innovative approach inspired by the principles of a circular economy and social entrepreneurship, Race for Water Foundation seeks to give an economic value to plastic waste and prevent plastic pollution of our waterways. Within this framework, the Foundation works closely with UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN and the WBCSD.