SCGC Collaborates with with MNRE and Network Partners to Launch Nets Up Model, Creating Added Value through Circular Economy Innovations, Upcycling Discarded Fishing Nets into Sustainable Marine Materials

Rayong – International Coastal Cleanup Day, 16 September 2023: SCG Chemicals (SCGC), a leading regional player in the chemical business with a focus on business growth and sustainability, has collaborated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, local small-scale fishing communities in Rayong province, business partners, and marine environmental conservation networks to launch the “Nets Up” project, an initiative aims to add value through a circular economy approach for sustainable oceans. It repurposes discarded fishing nets into an innovative, recycled material called Marine Materials, extending its value into relevant industries such as textiles. This material is turned into yarn and woven into fabric for further processing into upcycled products, offering new options for environmentally-conscious brand owners and consumers. The initiative promotes maximum resource efficiency in line with the principles of the circular economy, reduces marine waste, fosters community participation for a sustainable marine environment, and contributes to mitigating global warming. The ceremony was chaired by Pichit Sombatmak, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Dr. Suracha Udomsak, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of SCG Chemicals (SCGC), who delivered remarks.

The “Nets Up” model connects the entire value chain, starting from the management of discarded fishing nets and integrating them into the community waste bank trading system through the “KoomKah” application. The nets then undergo a recycling process to produce high-quality PCR, which is developed into Marine Materials. These recycled materials from old fishing nets find applications in various industries, such as the textile business, packaging, athletic shoe components, automotive parts, and electrical equipment, among others.

At the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to mitigate environmental impacts through marine waste management and to promote the development of innovations aligned with the principles of a circular economy. Many stakeholders participated in this collaborative effort, including SCGC, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Marine and Coastal Resources Office 1, the Youth Fund, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), the Plaschemical team, National Nanotechnology Center, Nyl-One, Thai Taffeta, Petrochemical Industry Club, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTIPC), the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Consumption and Production Association (Thailand), pilot fishing communities, and networks for marine environmental protection.

Dr. Suracha Udomsak, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of SCG Chemicals (SCGC), revealed that, “The Nets Up model originated from SCGC’s commitment to driving its business under the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) framework, with a focus on establishing a tangible circular economy through recycling innovations. By leveraging our expertise in high-quality Post-Consumer Recycled Resin (High-Quality PCR), we have developed Marine Materials, recycled from discarded fishing nets, to be a sustainable alternative for related industries. The Nets Up model fully integrates the value chain by involving all stakeholders, from upstream to downstream, and encompasses all dimensions, including reducing environmental impacts through marine waste management, promoting the proper disposal of discarded fishing nets to prevent them from entering the ocean, developing innovations, and adding value to discarded fishing nets. In addition, it involves community waste banks, the creation of local fishing networks, volunteerism, and environmental organizations.

Dr. Suracha Udomsak, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President of SCG Chemicals

In addition, the model aims to drive the business sector to utilize Marine Materials, or recycled materials from discarded fishing nets, into upcycled products such as fabric for clothing and household items. This not only adds value to the products in line with the circular economy but also helps to reduce environmental impact on the marine ecosystem and promotes income generation for local fishing communities. Currently, the model has been piloted in the coastal area of Rayong province. Plans are underway to expand the project to all 23 coastal provinces of Thailand in the future.”

Pichit Sombatmak, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has policies to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to achieve balance and sustainability to improve the quality of life. These efforts align with the national BCG (Bio-Circular-Green Economy) agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Nets Up model and this Memorandum of Understanding will help fishing communities increase income through the sorting of fishing net waste, reducing the burden of disposal, and preventing discarded fishing nets from entering the ocean. The Ministry is prepared to support SCGC and its network of partners in driving mechanisms to manage discarded fishing nets and collaborating with local small-scale fishing communities. This serves as a model for managing discarded fishing nets, with plans to roll out to coastal areas across Thailand.

Pichit Sombatmak, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Kris Pakdeejit, a representative from the Youth Fund, provided additional perspective, saying, “As a member of the younger generation, we are proud to be a part of the solution to marine environmental issues, in collaboration with the government, leading organizations, and network partners. The Youth Fund is a group of young people aged 15-17 who engage in continuous social activities aimed at conserving the country’s natural resources and environment. For instance, we participate in underwater cleanups, coral planting, and mangrove reforestation. Collaboration in the Nets Up project is another mission where young people can contribute to meaningful changes to help protect the ocean and instill in the younger generation—the future and hope of the country —the importance of using resources wisely.”

SCGC has been continuously driving business and embedding the principles of the circular economy in society through a wide array of waste management models, such as the ‘Waste-Free Community Project’ and the ‘Upcycling Milk Pouches Project’ initiative. These efforts aim to raise awareness about maximizing the benefits of resource utilization by promoting the concepts of ‘Resource Maximization, Correct Sorting, and Proper Disposal,’ and to bring materials back into the recycling loop to create new value. In addition, SCGC is moving forward in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to address marine waste issues and restore marine ecosystems through innovations such as the SCG-DMCR Litter Trap and Fish Homes made from PE 100 pipes by SCGC.

Nets Up, a model for adding value by turning unused fishing nets into Marine Materials.

For more information: https://www.scgchemicals.com

Published on: Sep 18, 2023

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