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The collection of plastic by the Moken from Koh Surin

May 31, 2022

#TIDE OCEAN MATERIAL

For many years, the indigenous Moken people living in Thailand’s National Park of Koh Surin have been observing the increased pollution of their ancestral bays. They decided to act and started collecting ocean plastics which we are using for the transformation into our #tide ocean material. Lena and Hook are the local Ambassadors who connect the Moken people to our sustainable recycling chain!

Support for boat maintenance

This year, we receive strong support from Maurice Lacroix, one of our key partners: The Swiss brand is one not only using our material for their watches and watch cases, but also contributing to infrastructural projects, cleanups and waste management systems on islands of the Andaman Sea. With their help, we were able to support the maintenance of the long-tail boat that is transporting the plastic from the remote Surin islands to the mainland. This transfer is an adventurous 4-hour journey, and it was the last for a long time, too.

The National Park closed when the monsoon season started. Extreme weather brings along big waves and, more dangerously, strong winds. A fully loaded boat is in danger of flipping over if caught in a storm. The boat captains need to be able to judge the weather by analyzing patches of dark clouds that could be signs of wind they might encounter in the four hour journey to the mainland.

With the boats ready, they got up before dawn to observe the distant horizon to ensure a safe last transfer. When the horizon finally cleared up, two boats departed on their journey to the mainland, bringing hundreds of kilos of plastic for which #tide pays these fishermen fair earnings. The plastic waste collected on Koh Surin will be upcycled and transformed into safe and durable products.