The Never-ending Mission of “The Sea Saver”
Publish On 15, Dec 2020 | The Never-ending Mission of “The Sea Saver”
For more than 20 years, Chemicals Business, SCG has carried on its mission to protect Thai seas through various projects and collaborative efforts, taking on the role of The Sea Saver to highlight the significance of the protection and restoration of the ocean in parallel with eco-conscious business operations.
Focusing on solving problems at their roots, SCG advocates a shift towards sustainable daily consumption among Thai people and promotes appropriate waste management in households and communities. It has also expanded its collaborative efforts at international levels, joining forces with both private organizations and civil societies, such as the world’s leading eco-technology startup Ocean Cleanup and co-founding the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), a non-profit organization consisting of companies in the plastic industry supply chain that work together to solve the problem of marine plastics. This is not to mention ocean waste management, where SCG leverages its expertise on technology and plastic materials to create waste collection innovations to protect Thai seas.
Upstream initiatives: Stemming waste generation
Reducing marine waste begins at home and in our workplaces. To this end, SCG initiated the Bangsue Model in 2018, in which SCG employees were encouraged to manage waste within the organization correctly under the approach “resource maximization, correct sorting, and proper disposal.” To bring about active waste separation, the workplace environment was adjusted to promote correct waste sorting and behavioral change. It also shows statistics indicating the amounts of waste sorted and recycled as well as the volume of greenhouse gas emissions avoided.
Furthermore, SCG has passed on its waste management approach to communities through its Waste-free Community Project in Rayong, where in 2018 only 7% of its 306,000 tons of waste was recycled. Under this initiative, SCG and Rayong planned to increase recycling by educating the public and promoting waste separation at source in households, temples, schools, communities, and municipalities. In the first year, the participating communities successfully put over 28,190 kilograms of waste into the recycling process, cultivated waste awareness, and incorporated waste management into the daily life of the local people.
Mid-stream initiatives: Protecting waterways with innovations
Rivers and canals connected to communities can be passageways for trash to be carried to the sea. To intercept this type of waste, Chemicals Business, SCG utilized its technological expertise to make further improvements on the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources’ existing litter trap and add trap doors that opened and closed with the flow and pressure of the water. This resulted in the SCG-DMCR Litter Trap, which could prevent collected materials from flowing back out of the trap as a result of changes in the water current. In 2020, SCG also developed HDPE-Bone, a floating material made of UV-resistant polyethylene. Thanks to its durability and 25-year life expectancy, the new litter trap is not only more durable but is also easier to assemble and install.
Currently, 25 units of these litter traps have been installed at estuaries and canals connected to the sea in 15 provinces across the country. After the first nine months, the traps have successfully collected over 40 tons of waste. Communities in the vicinity have also been educated about how to sort waste collected from these waterways as well as how to use it to create value or put it in a landfill so as to prevent it from being leaked back into the river. Databases detailing the amounts and types of waste in each locality were also developed to plan the long-term reduction of each waste.
Downstream initiatives: Restoration for sustainability
Saving the sea is not only about reducing waste leakage into the sea or collecting marine waste but also involves creating appropriate underwater ecosystems conducive to marine life. Initiated in 2012 at Pak Khlong Kaeng in Rayong, the SCG Fish Home Project has since been scaled up to cover various provinces in Eastern Thailand, namely Rayong, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, and Trat, and has put over 2,180 SCG fish homes under the sea in over 47 square kilometers of marine conservation areas with the help of over 22,900 volunteers across the countries. Constructed out of leftover PE100 pipes from factories and pipes produced from plastic waste recovered from beaches and communities, the durable and eco-friendly fish home serves as a sanctuary for marine life, enhances the health of marine ecosystems, and boost income for local fishery groups.
On September 19, 2020, Chemicals Business, SCG, in collaboration with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, 13 business operators in Map Ta Phut and Ban Chang Industrial Estates in Rayong, and youth volunteers from The Sea Saver Young Gen Project, hosted the International Coastal Cleanup 2020 (ICC 2020). During this event, over 6,300 kilograms of waste collected from across a 20-kilometer coastal strip. Of this amount, over 580 kilograms was recyclable, and the remainder was sent to the comprehensive waste disposal center of Rayong’s Provincial Administrative Organization.
Click here to watch VDO: ICC 2020
The event also featured a campaign educating the participants on at-source waste sorting and management to stem leakage to the sea as well as a debut performance of “Rak Tong Yaek,” a rap song project by a youth band that promoted #resourcemaximization #correctsorting and #properdisposal with the support of six partners of SCG, namely the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, PPP Plastics, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Trade of Thailand, to raise awareness to foster collaboration and solve waste issues on the national level.
Chemicals Business, SCG hopes that these projects will inspire the public and play a part in allowing everyone to become a sea saver simply by adjusting their daily behavior, separating waste, and disposing of waste properly, so that they can all make Thai seas clean and pristine again.