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 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.
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 model involves community waste banks, the creation of local fishing networks, volunteerism, and environmental organizations. The collected nets 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. In addition, it involves community waste banks, the creation of local fishing networks, volunteerism, and environmental organizations.
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.