In recognition of World Oceans Day on June 8th, the Trenton-based TerraCycle Thai Foundation participated in the Innovation for Sustainable Ocean event hosted by Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Bangkok, Thailand at the request of the Thai government.
Through the TerraCycle Thai Foundation’s collaboration with the DMCR, the Foundation installed a river plastic capture trap in the waterway of Khodpor public park in Rayong. The device is part of the DMCR’s project to integrate action and participation into marine debris management. This is one of two TerraCycle Thai Foundation collection devices installed in Thailand which are designed to increase the amount of debris and marine plastics that are collected from Thai waterways, thereby intercepting it before it reaches and pollutes the ocean. Furthering the Foundation’s commitment, it has also agreed to sustainably recycle not only the waste collected through its own collection devices and efforts, but also the waste collected by all the other participating organizations.
“Cleaning the country’s rivers and canals is a critically important priority for the Thai government,” said Suwan Nanthasarut, Senior Advisor, DMCR. “The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources is pleased to have public-private cooperation from nonprofit organizations like the TerraCycle Thai Foundation to assist in our river cleanup efforts.”
With financial support from The PepsiCo Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, in 2019 the TerraCycle Global Foundation was created as a public charity dedicated to dramatically reducing the volume of marine debris and plastic waste found in the world’s waterways and the TerraCycle Thai Foundation was established as a locally registered independent non-profit entity to help address the issue of ocean plastic pollution in Thailand. With a community-centered approach, the Thai Foundation is cleaning up waterways and implementing innovative recycling and end-market solutions for marine waste. In addition to the work underway in Thailand, the TerraCycle Global Foundation has plans to expand to local communities in central and Southeast Asia, working with local waste management systems that are currently overwhelmed.
“Tackling plastic waste is vital for both environmental protection and economic development in communities across the world,” said Jon Banner, EVP Global Communications and President, The PepsiCo Foundation. “At PepsiCo, we take very seriously our commitment to building a world where plastic need never become waste. We are proud to be the angel investor to create the TerraCycle Global Foundation, helping to catalyze funding others and enable the recovery of tons of plastic waste from our waters.”
To further this effort, the Foundation will be implementing an educational campaign that highlights ways to prevent and reduce plastic pollution. Through the Foundation’s relationships with regional waste management companies, as well as TerraCycle Inc.’s larger network of research and development, logistical and processing partners, the Foundation will be able to provide environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective recycling solutions for the collected debris. The end goal is to use recycled waste to create materials that can be incorporated in various applications—from primary packaging for major global brands to applications such as road or construction materials.
“Through the Foundation, we hope to lead international public awareness about the need to address river and ocean plastics” said Tom Szaky, Chairman of the Board, TerraCycle Global Foundation. “By directly collecting, as well as engaging with a wide range of NGOs to collect plastic from waterways, and using our recycling solutions to process it into a high-grade material that manufacturers can integrate it into new products, we want to show there is value in these otherwise discarded plastics.”
By capturing marine plastic waste and finding recycling solutions for the collected materials, the Foundation offers a holistic approach to reducing plastic waste to create meaningful, long-lasting change that can be replicated across around the world. To learn more about the TerraCycle Global Foundation please visit, www.terracyclefoundation.org/.