Type

Environment

Budget

Evaluation in progress

Status

In Progress

Year

2019

Our social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment (RRE)

Link to the Movie National Geographic

Supported by our main partner

The aim of our project is to provide jobs and new sources of income for disadvantaged people in southern Thailand (Moken, Burmese migrants), while offering concrete solutions to combat marine plastic pollution.

In 2019, our foundation established the social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment (RRE) to collect ocean plastic waste in Ranong province for recycling. The plastics are purchased at a fair price from collectors and fishermen living in the coastal area and on the islands of the Andaman Sea. The collectors from the islands take their boatloads of plastics directly to our center located in Ranong city and accessible from the sea.

RRE has set up a network to collect plastics on the islands of Phayam, Chang, Saidam, Lao, Sinhai, the Surin archipelago and the coastal area of Ranong by supporting local collectors and recyclers, especially members of the Moken community link. The objective is to raise awareness of the economic value of plastics in order to encourage these communities to collect and sell them.

 

In 2022 RRE employs 15 local workers:

nearly 80% are women

13 people are from the Moken and Burmese minority communities

all of them benefit from social protection and stable employment, in safe working conditions and in exchange for a fair salary

7 of the team members among the young adults are provided with free accommodation,

Transparency and traceability are at the heart of our project, and essential for our partners. We are conducting a social impact study since January 2020 to measure the social, environmental and economic impacts of the project. Since 2021, the RRE collection center is certified Ocean Bound Plastic (add link: https://www.obpcert.org/) under the label of the Non-Governmental Organization Zero Plastic Ocean. The label guarantees the collection of plastics within 50 km of the coast, but also the fair working conditions of the employees and a fair collaboration with the waste collectors.

The PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PP (polypropylene) and PE (polyethylene) bales packaged by the RRE team are sold to partners who propose solutions to the problem of marine plastics and who recognize our environmental and social impact. Our main partner is Tide Ocean Material, a Swiss start-up that transforms PET and PP into pellets and filaments made from 100% of our recycled plastic. They are used in the manufacture of sustainable and quality products, forming the final link in the implementation of a circular economy.

Between 2019 and the end of 2022, 422 tons of ocean plastic were collected and recycled, thanks to around 100 independent collectors and projects created in island and coastal communities in southern Thailand. Several beach clean-ups have also been organized to further involve local populations and to communicate about our project. RRE is now financially self-sufficient, and a minimum of 70% of the profits are used to fund our educational outreach programs in schools (insert link to Education project) as well as social benefits for our workers.

In 2021, our aim is to obtain “Ocean-Bound Plastics” certification for our plastics and digitise our traceability procedures.

Our partners

In Thailand

Second Life http://www.secondlife.earth/ develops community projects in geographical areas of major interest and encourages the collection of plastic waste thanks to plastic credits, financed by brands concerned with this issue. Thanks to its partnership with Second Life and the French cosmetics brand Caudalie, RRE buys back plastic from fishermen and coastal collectors at a fair price, higher than the traditional market price, which helps cover their transportation costs.

Wongpanit Krabi Nua Klong https://www.facebook.com/KrabiWongpanit The Wongpanit Krabi team brings us their experience and collaboration for the collection of ocean plastics in southern Thailand. Their refuse derived fuel (RDF) production line offers us a solution for non-recyclable plastics collected in Ranong.

Environmental Justice Foundation https://ejfoundation.org/reports/net-free-seas-progress-report-2020-21 is a British Non-Governmental Organization. We are working with EJF Thailand in their ‘Net Free Seas’ program, which takes concrete action against marine pollution from drift nets and ropes from fishing.

 

International:

Tide Ocean Material  tide.earth/#were-on-a-mission is a Swiss start-up that transforms ocean plastic into 100% recycled pellets and yarns that make new, sustainable, quality products. Tide Ocean Material supports the environmental and social impact of our project by purchasing our raw material at a price above the traditional market, but also by financially sponsoring waste collection projects in local communities.

 

The Spanish clothing brand EcoAlf  ecoalf.com/, through its project Upcycling the Oceans Thailand, has been transforming plastic waste collected at sea into clothing and fashion accessories for several years now. It is partnering with the Jan & Oscar Foundation to combat marine plastic pollution in Thailand by purchasing the plastics collected by RRE.

 

Media

Film National Geographic “Full Circle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JROUiLf6a_Y&t=1s

Film “Net Free Seas” EJF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXuS48m5ZGQ&t=1s

Film IUCN: https://www.iucn.org/news/asia/202102/marplasticcs-video-series-moken-guardians-sea-safeguarding-ocean-plastics-a-circular-economy-initiative-jan-oscar-foundation-thailand

Article Bangkok Post: bangkokpost.com

Article Swiss info: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/recycling-in-thailand_swiss-foundation-helps-lift-the-moken-out-of-poverty/44982330

Foundation Jan & Oscar Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4107h3mJiME

 

Funding

The Jan & Oscar Foundation has invested CHF 100,000 since the inception of the project in 2016.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has funded the project with USD 50,000 in 2020. Our project “Moken Guardians of the Sea” has been selected as the winning project for Thailand in 2019 by IUCN via the MARPLASTICCs (Marine Plastic and Coastal Communities) program supported by the Swedish Government Development Agency (SIDA).

https://www.iucn.org/theme/marine-and-polar/our-work/close-plastic-tap-programme/marplasticcs/circular-economy-projects

 

Second Life

Develops community projects in major geographic zones of interest to collect plastic waste in partnership with brands wishing to find a solution to this problem. Through its partnership with Second Life and Caudalie, the French brand of cosmetics, RRE buys the plastic from the fishermen at a fair price, above the traditional market price, which enables them to cover transport costs.

Wongpanit Krabi Nua Klong

Through their “Ocean bound plastics” programme at Krabi, our partners transform our bales of PEP and PP into flakes.

Environmental Justice Foundation

in the framework of the program Net Free Seas for discarded fishing nets and ghost fishing gears that can be extremely harmful to marine animals and ecosystems.

Internationally

 

Tide Ocean Material

The Swiss company has developed a new procedure for transforming PET plastic flakes into granules and yarn, which can be used to make sustainable new products. Tide Ocean Material supports the environmental and social impact of our project by purchasing our raw material at a price above the traditional market price.

EcoAlf

The Spanish clothing label, through its project Upcycling the Oceans Thailand, has been turning plastic waste from the sea into fashionable clothes and accessories for several years now. Today the company is associated with the Fondation Jan & Oscar in combatting marine pollution in Thailand.