RAYONG – 20 September 2022 – The Dow Thailand Group, in collaboration with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, private contractors and like-minded environmentally conscious organizations, organized a “#PullingOurWeight” activity to mark International Coastal Conservation Day in Rayong Province.
This event has been organized for twenty consecutive years to prevent plastic waste from entering the environment and to raise awareness of sorting waste at source. Dow Volunteers have partnered with more than 3,300 volunteers to collect more than 6,500 kilograms of waste around the coastal area and put recycling waste to use according to the circular economy, while aiming to raise awareness of sustainable solutions for marine debris.
Dow employees around the world have joined the Ocean Conservancy in conducting the International Coastal Cleanup, which is a global campaign to collect coastal litter on the 3rd Saturday of September each year, now in its 37th year ( and 20th year in Thailand). This year, Dow collaborated with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and other environmentally conscious organizations; garbage collection over twenty-five kilometers in the areas of Hat Nam Rin, Hat Phayun, Hat Phla in Ban Chang district, and Hat Suchada, Hat Saengchan, Hat Laemchareon and Hat Mae Ramphueng in Mueng district, province of Rayong – which contain all the important tourist attractions of the province. This campaign aims to drive collaboration between employees, customers, communities and partners around the world to reuse and recycle one million tonnes of plastic waste by 2030.
Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, President of Dow Thailand, said, “Dow aims to build a sustainable society and community, especially to ‘stop plastic waste’ and prevent it from entering the environment. Plastics are too valuable materials to be disposed of as waste, because we can recycle used plastics efficiently and repeatedly, recycling them according to the circular economy. Today’s campaign aims not only to temporarily bring back the beauty of nature, but above all to show volunteers how garbage ends up in coastal areas, find solutions for themselves and have the self-determination to return and sort the waste from the beginning. This will lead to sustainable solutions for marine debris.
Dow’s campaign not only provides opportunities to various sectors for coastal waste collection, which is an end point solution, but also raises awareness to proactively prevent problems early by supporting waste sorting in households; especially used plastics, reducing contamination through reuse and recycling. The “Separate and Swap Bags” campaign allows people to bring 125 pieces of polythene plastic (e.g., tote bags, ice packs, rice bags and film wrapped in water bottles) to redeem for a Dow Green Earth bag at the event. More than 8,000 bags were collected and sent to the “Dow Asar Pa Pai Rak” youth group for further use in Banchangkarnchanakul Wittaya School’s “Green Challenge BKW x Dow” project; generate revenue by distributing used plastics to recycling plants for processing into other products.
Dow also organized an educational exhibition on innovative 100% recyclable packaging. Plastic pellets, when combined with 40% post-consumer recycled resin, can be made into shrink films that retain properties equivalent to films made from new plastic pellets. This shrink film is a transparent film for packaging drinks, shampoo, lotion, etc. Other recycling technologies were presented such as the use of recycled plastics for the manufacture of roads, paving stones, artificial pallets, etc. Dow also worked with Banchang Municipality and the community to hold a workshop on making paving bricks and flower pots from plastic waste and the art of decoupage from used coffee cups; showing participants how to create value with non-recyclable plastics.
Ban Chang District Chief Ruengrit Prakobtham said, “As a citizen of Rayong, I am proud to see companies, organizations and volunteers collecting coastal trash together and bringing back the beauty of the beach, which is particularly important to us. Marine debris problems can be solved if we prevent them early on by recycling waste from the food waste we generate at home, allowing the responsible government sector to take care of the garbage. The private sector will solve problems through technology. Everyone has a key role because this world does not belong to one particular person, but to all of us.
Organizations that collaborated with Dow to organize International Coastal Day in Ban Chang District this year were Solvay Group, PTT Asahi Chemical Co., Ltd., NS-Siam United Steel Co., Ltd., Hidaka Yookoo Enterprises Co., Ltd. , and the Federation of Thai Industries. Even though COVID-19 still requires preventive measures, preserving the environment is also important and can be done together. This year’s campaign has been adjusted to organize social distancing, the wearing of masks during the campaign and strict control of participants to ensure that all volunteers can participate in the activity safely.