Plastic Pollution Challenge
Thousands of tonnes of plastic waste are polluting the oceans after being dumped in Thailand’s canals and rivers every year. The waste needs to be collected and recycled before it reaches the ocean and is degraded and diluted across the ocean making it difficult to collect and recycle.
Our river traps remove 1 – 2.5 tonnes of waste daily, so it can be recycled and not land filled. Our outreach, incentive and education programs change public behavior, to prevent future dumping by including communities as part of the solution.
Waste is just a mismanaged resource. The Foundation builds upon the global success and experience of TerraCycle Inc., and is applying this to the non-profit space. This has allowed us to go beyond traditional ocean waste cleanup programs, in our scope and approach to solving the challenges. To improve collection we have created a very durable, cost effective and efficient river plastic trap that collects hundreds of kilograms per device, per day, with minimum cost and labor, in multiple environments. But it is our processing that really differentiates us.
We develop sustainable, innovative business models and private / public partnerships that allow us to process waste that would normally go unrecycled or end up in landfills. As part of our outreach to change waste behaviors, we also run educational and gamification programs. These incentive programs provide communities with community gardens, park equipment, and playgrounds built from recycled waste. Our programs also provide stable income, safety and training for trash pickers.
SDG 14.1 & 14.2 – Each device prevents an average of 85,000 kgs of waste from polluting the oceans per year. The devices are easily deployed, long lasting, and scalable.
|SDG 13 – Our activities reduce the carbon footprint, and our outreach educates the public on reduction and recycling.|
|SDG 12.5 to 12.8 – We deliver programs to encourage, educate and implement the 4 r’s: redesign, reduce, reuse and recycle. We offer CSR programs to public and private organizations, and educational institutions.|
|SDG 17.7 – Develop and improve recycling technology and infrastructure in developing countries: Thailand (2020) and India (2021).|
SDG 6.3, 6.6 & 6.b.1 – Improve water quality in inland bodies of water through direct removal of waste and waste dumping prevention outreach and education.
SDG 1 & 8.5 – We offer fair, stable and equal employment opportunities to low income communities, trash pickers and developmentally disabled people in our areas of operation. To date, we have provided employment to 12 people from the community surrounding our pilot project.
SDG 3.8 – Health plans and safety training are provided to ensure the safety of trash pickers and low-income employees.
Primary funding will be from sponsoring organizations that are looking to lower their plastic/carbon footprint as part of their sustainability goals. Our programs provide them with plastic offsets and verifiable river/ocean plastics to use in recycled products. This is a proven model used by TerraCycle worldwide for over 20 years in 22 countries. Proven by successful programs with all major CPG companies, such as P&G’s Head and Shoulders ocean waste bottle program, and Colgate’s plastic waste to playgrounds program. The Foundation will also generate income from donations, CSR educational canal cleanup tours, a new e-commerce store featuring products made from recovered river and ocean plastics to be launched in 2021. We also provide operational management and processing to other cleanup programs. The foundation also seeks Grants to develop the infrastructure needed to implement the sponsorship programs and expand capacity.
We are the best solution wherever a low cost, low tech, high impact solution is needed. We have demonstrated that we are able to collect and process at a lower cost than competing organizations. This has led to operation management contracts in Thailand and India, beginning in 2021. We currently operate in 1 of over 1600 polluted canals in Bangkok, and have been asked to extend our program to other canals, rivers and waterways in Thailand. We are highly scalable and can deploy new river plastic trap locations within 2-3 weeks from the time of order.
Traction and Key Metrics
- In 6 months, despite COVID-19 restrictions, the pilot project collected 133,756 kgs of waste from the Lat Phrao canal. We expect to exceed 250,000 kgs in 2021 (excluding expansion projects).
- 500+ visitors have toured the project, including 2 European Ambassadors, Thai government officials and several Thai celebrities, including Maria Poonlertlarp (Miss Thailand 2017). We have a waiting list of 400 people for paid CSR tours.
- The project has been well-received by the media, with 100+ media placements, 70 million impressions, including 2 documentary videos that alone have generated over 2 million views on social media.
- We are currently operating at 30% below our projected budget.
- We are in negotiations for 7 operational contracts, to deploy other organizations cleanup operations.
- Provided stable full time employment to 12 low income members of the community.
The organization will continue to develop innovative waste management solutions to prevent and recycle ocean waste. Expanding throughout SEA, we will be able to meet the increasing demand for certified recycled ocean plastic waste, carbon credits, and plastic offset credits. We will greatly expand the types of materials we recycle and the products produced with the materials.
In areas where we have reversed or stopped waste from entering the waterways, we will shift our focus to upcycling and increasing demand for products made from recycled materials .
We offer a range of investment levels beginning with single collection location sponsorships, to complete city solutions with processing facilities. Minimum corporate sponsorships begin with a 1 yr, 25K USD investment, and range up to a full multi location processing facility for 350K USD per year. We have a variety of sponsorship program options, to suit the needs of the environment’s waste challenges and the goals of the supporting organization.