Second Life Thailand

Thailand is a huge user of one-time use plastics. Thais use 70 billion plastic bags a year. The country is a major contributor, along with China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, of up to 60% of plastic pollution in oceans. Thailand’s 23 coastal provinces dump an estimated one million tons of garbage into the sea each year. A major reason for this problem is lack of funding for waste management – the average Thai household pays less than one dollar a month to dispose of its solid waste.  With regards to ocean plastic specifically, the situation is worse on the islands than on the mainland, because the market price that local collectors can sell plastic to regional collectors is too low. Factoring in additional costs, such as boat fuel and sorting, ocean plastic is not profitable to collect. 

plastic waste

Plastic waste reduction program:

We plan to recover and recycle ocean, ocean-bound and land plastic waste by:  

  • Incentivizing formal and informal waste collectors and recycling agents of islands and remote coastal areas, including municipalities, schools, and volunteers; 
  • Connecting corporate partners with industrial recycling supply chains to ensure reuse and upcycling of plastics recycled, in a fully circular and locally integrated economy; 
  • Investing in regional recycling initiatives to ensure the increased recycling capacity of materials that would otherwise be disposed of improperly or end up in landfill; and 
  • Engaging with collectors and communities about waste management and its impacts and teaching them how to mitigate future waste by raising awareness on waste management, collection, and recycling activities. 

Second Life’s aggregators and network

Second Life’s aggregators and informal collectors network handle the plastic recovery. Each aggregator and collector receives a premium price for plastics collected, transported, and recycled, which makes previously unprofitable recovery and recycling operations (e.g., on remote islands) profitable. The premium paid directly to these local collectors allows them to increase their revenues by 50 to 100 %. Local collectors are also trained on health and safety of waste collection. Recycling will be monitored throughout the program’s duration.  Second Life partners with many global and local partners to fund and manage the program, as well as promote community awareness and engagement.   

In 2020, Second Life recovered and recycled 500 tons of ocean-bound plastics in the provinces of Ranong and Krabi and 100 tons of land plastics from Chiang Mai province for a total of ~600 tons in 2020. 

Technical Details 

The estimated net collected plastic waste are 125,411 metric tonnes over the 7-year crediting period (2 January, 2020 to 31 December 2026).  The estimated net recycled plastic waste are 100,122 metric tonnes over the same period.  The project may be renewed 2 times. 

Original independent assurance & project validation: 2021 in accordance with the Plastic Waste Collection Methodology, Plastic Waste Mechanical Recycling Methodology and Verra Plastic Standard.