With a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment, a community in Thailand saw an opportunity to fulfil a worldwide demand while also helping the local environment.
Thailand has one of the largest fishing industries in the world but are also one of the worlds top countries for creating ocean plastic. This is how Thailand are cleaning up their act all while assisting in the coronavirus pandemic.
It begins with local fishermen collecting abandoned nets they find while afloat. Currently there are more than 100 fishermen taking part. This part of the process is overseen by the Environmental Justice Foundation.
The nets are then bought by a Thai company called Qualy. Firstly the nets get washed before being transferred to the shredder. After this process is complete. The nets are nothing but mere plastic pellets. Which now can be melted down and poured into the appropriate mould. These pellets are currently being formed into push sticks (for elevators & ATMs), face shields and disinfectant bottles.
It is estimated since the start of the pandemic, Qualy has recycled around 700kg of plastic netting. Thosaphol Suppametheekulwat, marketing director said “We’ve sold over 100,000 push sticks already during the coronavirus pandemic”. He went on to say “Buying the nets supports the fishers’ livelihoods, and we can make new products out of them” and “It’s even better when it also helps save our environment.”
This project from start to finish is a win win situation for all. The local fishermen get an extra income. The environment gets cleaned up. Marine life are more likely to survive. Finally, the plastic is recycled into items that help humanity fight this deadly virus. Lets just hope that it doesn’t end up back in the ocean!
Here at Planet XYZ we would like to applaud all those involved with the project. Keep up the good work! If you would like to get involved in helping preserve the environment, check out our “About Us” page and register your interest.