50,000 KG of plastic trash has been collected from the beaches in Thailand by Starboard’s Plastic Offset Program team. Another Year. Another Record Broken for POP
This huge goal has come from Starboard’s target to collect 1.4 kg per each board
produced. Starboard taxes ourselves internally to allow us to pay our very own Plastic Offset Program team to collect the trash found on the beaches in the Pattaya and Rayong areas of Thailand.
In 2020 the final clean up stretch revealed the remnants and reminders of how quickly the items that we dispose of can be found in our oceans and on the beaches
What are we learning through POP and how?
For each area where our team collects the ocean travelling waste, we have to ask permission. Working with the local government departments and local people has been an easy process which will help make further changes in the future. Our clear communication channels with the local departments and military allow us to understand the movement of plastic waste across the seas. On March 28th 2020, we were informed that a garbage patch swept up to the beaches of Pattaya and Rayong from the Gulf of Thailand. This is when we had a spike of waste on the beaches.
Our clean up team who face unnecessary waste on our nature have shared the following statement with us:
“We would like to see less plastic waste, if possible I don’t want to see it at all. We will keep continuing to collect trash. It would be good if the Government and the CEO of the companies that are responsible for Ocean pollution. And have the same project implementation concept as this plastic offset project.” – Apisit POP Team Leader
Where does the waste go?
10% of all the trash collected by Starboard’s POP team are fishing nets. The team would have to remove these nets from rocks where it is caught up as well as digging in the sand to dredge up what has been washed up on the waters edge over time.
Then came the partnership with the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). EJF has made it possible for these fishing nets to be recycled into pellets that can then be used in products where the use of virgin plastic would then be decreased. Their general current focuses are upcycling the fishing net materials for roof racks for cars, and fins for surfboards. The latest developments include the creation of face shields to protect workers and providers where employees require close interactions with customers. The second development is ‘The Push Stick’ that has been a handy tool for contactless button touching in Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Onwards for the Oceans!
The collection total for 2020/2021 will be based upon 1.1 kg of plastic trash per board. This is the equivalent to the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean, per person, per year.
The Starboard environmental team are taking on the challenge to have a zero-landfill
policy. Meaning, to divert all that is collected into other forms, such as recycling or repurposing.