Clean oceans and coastlines – Thailands engagement for environment protection

In one of our previous posts we highlighted some of the oceans’ problems and introduced you to the newly opened Gili Veshi centre on the Maldives that aims to save the sensitive nature of the sea. But there are even more exciting and inspiring projects around the world, which leads us to Thailand today. The initiative „Upcycling the oceans“ aims to clean the seas from waste while also establishing a recycling economy.

© Ecoalf Foundation

It all started with frustration

Frustrated about the misuse of natural resources as well as with the excessive waste production Javier Goyeneche founded in 2012 the Ecoalf Foundation after three years of planning. The „Upcycling the oceans“ initiative aims to to get rid of the waste in the oceans, thus reducing the negative impact for the environment and to re- or upcycle the collected waste. In a Project together with fishermen he started to clean the coastlines of the mediterranean Spanish coast. The collected plastic is recycled to manufacture clothes, shoes and bags. The next logical step was to establish a fashion label (Ecoalf). As the contamination of the oceans is a globally problem that will effect everybody in the future, more and more countries and regions are expected to follow and turn the initiative into a global project.

The waste liberation of the Thai coast

The next country to join is Thailand: Ecoalf, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) are working together to free the coast in Thailand and contiguous seas from waste. Thailand’ depends on tourism so the initiative will not only help cleaning the oceans of plastic debris but also support the sustainable approach of Thailand’s tourism industry. The „Upcycling the oceans, Thailand“ initiative focusses on the Eastern coast around Koh Samet and Rayong, the gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea and working together with fishing guilds, diving clubs, non-profit environmental associations and local communities. Additionally to the cleaning, other interest groups and also tourists shall be integrated in the project. By educating them on the topic they will hopefully review their attitudes and maybe join the initiative.

It’s up to you!

Projects like the Gili Veshi centre on the Maldives, the Trash Heroes in Thailand or the new „Upcycling the oceans“ initiative highlight the motivated work of many people thinking that it’s the responsibility of every single one to care for the environment. Of course all of these initiatives offer the possibility to join and there’s also a lot you can do in your daily life to help prevent the problems right in the beginning. After all – to quote Laotse – even the longest journey begins with the first step.