Collecting waste while scuba diving produces products that support a good cause and help make the world a better place

On 20–21 December 2019, GC, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and the ECOALF Foundation will join together to organize the ‘Shade of Blue Ocean’ initiative, a scuba diving activity to collect waste from the coastlines of Rayong province. The initiative will also include an exhibition of DIY products made from plastic waste, and a seminar and discussions on the “Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand” project which upcycles plastic waste into value-added products. GC Circular Living Community readers who are interested in joining the seminar can find additional information below (please note that participation is limited).

Diving to clean-up waste…
Supporting a great cause and an eco-friendly way to upcycle products

Many of us may have come across or used items from an upcycled fashion collection, such as T-shirts and bags from the “Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand” project, an important project which GC and its partners initiated to support the Circular Economy. This project upcycles plastic waste collected from the sea and along coastlines into chic collections with the support of volunteers from both the public and private sectors.

The “Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand” project is a diving activity that is open to the public who can both experience the world’s underwater beauty while taking part in a worthwhile cause collecting waste that is upcycled into new products.

In 2017, GC, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the ECOALF Foundation in Spain teamed up to organize a scuba diving activity to collect waste in Koh Samed, Rayong province called ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand.’ The event’s motto was ‘Save Thailand’s Oceans and Give New Life to Waste and the Seas,’ and it promoted the need to implement effective waste management at marine tourist attractions by upcycling waste plastic into value-added products. Environmentally conscious celebrities, 100 scuba divers, and the public joined the cause and together, retrieved over 600 kilograms of waste from the seas and along the coastlines.

In late 2018, another waste collection activity was held in Phuket where over 1,000 volunteers joined together collecting over 672 kilograms of waste, including 180.5 kilograms of waste which was collected by scuba divers.

The projects, having collected waste and debris over a three-year period, were able to upcycle over 20 tons of waste into a variety of value-added products. In November 2018, the first collection from the “Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand” project was launched on both online and offline channels, including Ecotopia at Siam Discovery shopping center. The collection received an overwhelmingly positive response and sold out within two weeks.

The scuba diving activity to collect waste demonstrates how the upcycling process makes a difference by developing eco-friendly products for consumers, as well as allowing participants to support a great cause by bringing back the beauty of the underwater world.