Maurice Lacroix (ML) pledged to help us save the equivalent of 10 million bottles over three years. After just one and a half years, they have already prevented 7 million bottles from entering the oceans.
The collaboration with Maurice Lacroix is a perfect example of a 360° partnership: They used our material for an ever-growing, eye-catching watch collection called the AIKON #TIDE. Our OceanMugs served as packaging for the timepiece. And ML heavily contributed to our Road to 1 Billion Bottles impact program. With their help we were able to expand our operations in Thailand and set up several additional projects.
Warehouse on Koh Chang
Koh Chang is a Thai island in the Andaman Sea, about an hour's boat ride from Ranong, where #tide operates its recycling center.
Many islands in Southeast Asia are affected by plastic pollution, especially during the monsoon season, and Koh Chang is no exception. There is a lack of waste management systems on these islands which means that the residents are left to deal with the problem of plastic pollution on their own.
To bring about a lasting solution, our local team has built up a strong community of people who diligently collect and sell plastic waste to protect their island.
But they needed a place to collect the plastic before it was transported to our recycling center in Ranong. Thanks to the support of Maurice Lacroix, we were able to build a warehouse to store the waste.
This aggregation center was the missing link that allowed us to improve the efficiency of our operations. The collectors can now bring the waste to the facility themselves. And if the collectors live too far away, our team will pick up the waste from them. This allows those islanders who do not have the means to travel to still earn an income from plastic collection.
Collections points on Koh Phayam
From Koh Chang, we expanded to its sister island: Koh Phayam, which hosts numerous resorts and hotels. It attracts tourists due to its clear blue waters and beautiful vegetation.
However, it undergoes a major transformation during the monsoon season; huge amounts of waste are washed ashore every year. With nowhere to go, the plastic is becoming an unsightly problem and hazard to the environment.
The team in Thailand has been gradually raising awareness about recycling and encouraging the islanders to collect and sort plastic waste. With the help of local residents, we set up collection points and soon began collecting the island's plastic waste and transporting it to our aggregation center on Koh Chang.
We know that raising awareness and sharing knowledge are key components in the fight against plastic pollution. Real change can only happen through meaningful exchange and collective action.
And that's what we do every day, with companies, organizations, and the powerful community we've built on our digital platforms, driven by the goal of creating lasting change.
But what about younger people and communities that don't necessarily have easy access to this information? What we needed was an educational program to provide the younger generation and other relevant groups with the right tools to build a better future. Our team in Thailand hired an educator and developed a curriculum for children and a separate workshop for adults in just a few months.
Carina | Education Coordinator
"I am proud to represent #tide and to teach children and adults about plastic plastic pollution, its effects, and solutions."
The program had a great start: In its first year the team was able to engage with more than 550 school children all over southern Thailand.
Long-tail boats & maintenance
In the remote areas we are operating in, boats are the only way to travel and transport goods. To transport the waste from the islands to the mainland, many of our collectors use the typical Thai long-tail boats. But not all of them have access to such a boat. The villagers of Ao Lek in the very south of Koh Chang, for example would not be able to earn an income collecting plastic if it were not for our team coming to pick up the plastic.
The ML-initiative has helped cover the cost for maintenance and fuel of boats on Koh Chang, Koh Surin and Koh Phayam, and enabled #tide to purchase our own long-tail boat.
Sometimes small things can make a real difference. And one of our goals at #tide is to improve the quality of life for the people who work hard to help us fight plastic pollution.
At the recycling center in Ranong, about one in four of the workers live on site, some of whom are single mothers. To improve their living conditions, we have renovated their living quarters with the help of Maurice Lacroix. Specifically, we have:
Repainted the rooms.
Installed mosquito nets.
Renovated the kitchen area.
Renovated the office and storage area.
In it for the long run
Much was achieved in the almost two years since #tide has started working with Maurice Lacroix. ML is focused on making good on its pledge to prevent 10 million bottles from reaching the ocean. But more is to come.
“At Maurice Lacroix we have enjoyed working with #tide. As we near the completion of our original commitment made in 2022, we did not want to walk away", says Stéphane Waser, Managing Director at Maurice Lacroix.
"This was never a one-shot deal for us. We believe in sustainability .”
Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix.
This partnership has helped us reach important milestones in our efforts to protect the oceans. "Maurice Lacroix's generous contributions have enabled us to collect millions of plastic bottles, build warehouses, buy boats and educate people. This collaboration benefits the environment and the people most affected by plastic pollution." Thomas Schori, Founder & Captain of #tide.
(Left: Thomas Schori, Founder & Captain of Tide Ocean SA; Right: Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix)
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