s we celebrate Earth Day, Thai Union continues its strong commitment to healthy oceans through its Green Giving project, distributing sets of clothing items and PPE upcycled from almost 500 kilograms of recycled PET bottles – collected from employees at its Bangkok headquarters and at its factories – to waste pickers from 10 local communities and frontline healthcare workers.
The health of the oceans is critical to Thai Union’s business as one of the world’s largest seafood producers, and caring for them is a key plank of its global commitment to “Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans.”
Millions of tons of plastic enter the the oceans every year, most of it urban waste, particularly plastic litter and microplastics, threatening the marine species on which Thai Union depends. To help address this critical issue and to encourage employees to recycle their plastic and support ocean health, Thai Union introduced the Green Giving program with the aim of upcycling plastic waste that could potentially end up in our waterways.
“The oceans are the lifeblood of our business at Thai Union, and as a global seafood leader it’s absolutely critical that we demonstrate leadership in helping to improve the health of those precious waters, which also provide livelihoods for millions of people around the world,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Group.
For the Green Giving program, Thai Union partnered with the UNDP and Trash Lucky, a Thailand-based start-up which emerged from SPACE-F, the first food tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand, which Thai Union is a founding partner of. The goal of the program was to turn plastic waste into usable clothing and other useful items for local waste picker communities.
The response from employees was significant, with 2,300 kilograms of recyclable waste collected, including 500 kilograms of recyclable PET bottles. The bottles collected were upcycled into 300 sets of clothing that included jackets, hats, aprons and gloves. Donations of the clothing has already begun, with the first sets handed out to waste pickers in Bangkok. The waste pickers earn a living by scavenging and selling recyclables. The other plastic collected from Thai Union factories in Samut Sakhon, was upcycled into 1,000 PPE suits for frontline workers helping with the COVID-19 pandemic.