SCG Joins Forces with DMCR to Tackle Ocean Waste, Delivering 20 Litter Traps for 13 Pilot Provinces

Chemicals Business, SCG, led by Mr. Cholanat Yanaranop, President of Chemicals Business, SCG, delivered 20 SCG-DMCR Litter Traps to Dr. Wijarn Simachaya, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to be installed along with the DMCR-developed litter traps in river mouths and canals in 13 pilot provinces aimed at preventing discarded waste entering the seas. The litter trap project is expected to prevent 30 tons of waste entering oceans within 6 months. SCG has recently unveiled “SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0” powered by automation to collect waste in areas of still water or where the buoy-strung litter traps cannot reach.

SCG-DMCR Litter Traps, developed by the collaboration of Chemicals Business, SCG and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) to be installed at the river mouths and canals are designed with a 2-way entrance system using natural water current and pressure to prevent the leak influenced by tidal movement effectively. Chemicals Business, SCG and the DMCR have signed a memorandum of understanding for the “Development Project of Floating Litter Traps for Installing at the River Mouths and Canals” on the 24th of June, 2019, where SCG-DMCR Litter Traps have been installed in 5 areas around Rayong River mouths and canals in Samut Sakorn province. The initial result has been satisfactory. Each of the initially installed SCG-DMCR Litter Traps is capable of collecting and containing 7.7 kilograms of river debris per day and more SCG-DMCR Litter Traps are to be installed in 20 areas within 13 pilot provinces.

Dr Wijarn Simachaya, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said that in order to solve the ocean waste issue we need to implement waste management systematically on land and in the sea coupled with reducing the use of single-use and unnecessary plastics as the marine waste is major contributor to the degradation of marine resource, marine animals and marine ecosystem. This has become a crisis in Thailand that must be solved wholly and systematically. The death of dugong “Mariam” has sparked awareness on the threat of plastic waste to endangered marine animals. Thailand produces over 2 million tons of plastic waste per year. Therefore, unwanted plastics must be appropriately disposed of and recycled in line with the Circular Economy concept or 3R principles. The collaboration between all sectors is crucial, for instance, the collaboration between the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and SCG to co-develop SCG-DMCR Litter Traps and Thailand as ASEAN chair for 2019 to solving the ASEAN’s marine waste issue, a significant move towards minimizing marine waste issue at a regional and global level.

Mr. Jatuporn Burutpat, Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), said “The project of installing buoy-strung litter traps in river mouths and canals is introduced to fulfill the commitment of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resource and SCG to reducing marine waste. Most wastes enter the seas via rivers and canals as Thailand has over 500 rivers and canals connected to the oceans. Therefore, SCG and DMCR co-developed DMCR floating litter traps that can guide debris through a one-way flap using natural water current and pressure combining with the function to prevent from exiting which could be caused by the change of water flow or tidal movement. The 20 SCG-DMCR Litter Traps will be installed within 13 seaside provinces, including Rayong, Chachoengsao, Samut Songkhram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Surat Thani, Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pattani, Phang Nga, Phuket, Satun, and Ranong, and they are expected to reduce at least 30 tons of marine wastes entering the oceans in 6 months. The project is part of the management strategies to reduce the amount of trash depositing into the oceans and mitigate negative impacts caused to the marine ecosystem and endangered species.

Mr. Cholanat Yanaranop, President of Chemicals Business, SCG, said, “SCG is well aware of the marine waste issue which is mostly caused by the waste in rivers and canals entering the oceans, resulting in adverse negative impacts to the environment and marine lives. The collaboration between the DMCR and SCG is a vital start as the latest innovation has been brought in to solve the issue. The delivered “SCG-DMCR Litter Traps” will be installed in 13 pilot provinces, including Phetchaburi, Rayong, Samut Songkhram, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, etc. The Litter Traps will be in the care of DMCR and SCG will constantly follow up the results and research on the management of collected marine wastes and how to add value to them which is line with the Circular Economy concept and prevent them from re-entering the oceans.

SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0
SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0

“In addition, SCG has harnessed robotics to innovate and develop the “SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0” Prototype to collect wastes in the still water or hard-to-reach areas by implementing the Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) techniques to increase the efficiency of waste management and to facilitate the officers. The “SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0″ Prototype is also powered by solar panels to help save energy. The project is expected to be completed and ready for trails by the end of 2019,” concluded Mr. Cholanat.

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