Agro firm CP joins project to stop plastic pollution at sea

Thailand’s agro-industrial conglomerate CP Group has joined in the government’s “Catch the Trash Project” that works to stop fishermen from dumping plastic, nets and other refuse into the oceans and instead bring it back to shore for recycling.

The “Catch the Trash Project” supervised by the Department of Fisheries, “is a creative idea to transform trash to something useful for the seas,” according to Upcycling the Oceans, a movement that originated in Spain.

“CP Foods encourages fishermen to bring ocean waste back to shore for recycling and reusing to help resolve the problem of marine trash and maintain the balance of marine ecosystems,” said CP Vice President Pairoj Apiruknusit.’’

The company will use the plastic returned to shore to make polo shirts for its employees and others. The company is also involved in several mangrove conservation projects.

The problem of plastic and other refuse in the oceans caught the attention of the Thai public three years ago when a young whale washed up and died on a Thai beach. The whale died of starvation because it had consumed so much plastic while swimming in the oceans that its digestive tract was clogged with the garbage.

Although trash in the oceans originates in many regions, currents carry it around the global seas. Several countries in Southeast Asia, however, are among the largest dumpers of plastic and refuse in the oceans.

Responding to the public outcry over the death of the whale, Thailand’s government and many of its largest corporations have become determined to tackle the problem of ocean pollution.

The Kingdom was the driving force in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to launch an initiative to reduce marine debris and repair the marine environment during its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019.

Blue-chip Thai companies such as SCG and PTT have adopted principles of the circular economy, cutting back on plastic production and use, and recycling plastic and other resources.