Starboard’s incredible Plastic Offset Program reached its 50,000 kg target of collecting plastic trash from the beaches in Thailand. Let’s take a look into what we have learnt over the last year.
Whilst it is World Environment Day and many of us feel that every day should have this focus, lets just take a moment to consider the environment around you right now. What does it provide you? Are you able to breathe deep, see nature flourish, can it grow your herbs, fruits and vegetables, can you play in any nearby water because it is clean and safe enough? After this great reflection, how great does it make you feel, is it perfect or do you feel it could be better?
Starboard creates innovative products for you to enjoy the waters around you. Enabling you to get so close to the water that you are likely to get not only your mind but also your whole body immersed into it. However, Starboard has taken a look and realised we can do better. The plastic economy is something Starboard contributes to as a company. This is the same plastic economy that pollutes the waterways around us and negatively impacts not only us but also the whole biodiversity around us. Starboard is aware of this and whilst we do not have a complete solution we have many programs and initiatives to reduce our impact.
With Starboard’s mission:
Our Mission is to not only be the best in the world but also the best for the world.
The protection of our oceans and our planet is right at the core of what we do. We aim to reduce our impact from as many angles as possible. So after reducing our impact through eco-innovations, using materials such as the recycled PET layer on our boards, Bio Resin on the Gold Level Eco Boards we took up the challenge of starting the Plastic Offset Program in 2017.
The Plastic Offset Program
Starboard had the ultimate goal to collect 1.4 kg per each board produced and through taxing ourselves we pay for our very own team to collect the trash found on the beaches in the Pattaya and Rayong areas of Thailand. Read how it works here.
This year’s changes compared to last year.
According to our team leader of POP, Abhisit, a lot less of the following items have been found during the cleanups; sanitary napkins, diapers and plastic bottles.
The Effect On Living Beings
There has, however, been an increase in the number of turtles found, that unfortunately were no longer alive. It is not known whether this is due to plastic ingestion, water quality or natural causes.
All items flowing into our water channels are having effects throughout the food chain. Whether it is a large or small plastic item at the beginning of its life, the plastic can break up into smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics which affect all levels of the food chain. Meaning, more and more creatures and beings coming negatively affected by the waste, which could harm their ability to survive or continue to produce. Linking back to humans, whether you are a fish eater or not, we would not be able to breathe if the phytoplankton that helps produce more than half of our Oxygen depletes due to the consumption of plastic.
However, even though items are breaking down there may be further cause for why there are more of some items being found on the beach over others.
Why Are There Less Of Certain Items During This Years Plastic Offset Program Clean Ups?
As you can see from the picture above, there are so many food wrappers/cases/pots. With Reuters stating Thailand’s plastic waste has increased by 63% during the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of this is actually from food packaging. How can we tackle this to change the habits of the consumer, do we need to raise our voices to make the food company change the way they share food. We can use our voices to directly communicate the changes we want when dealing with food deliveries, asking them to change up their packaging.
It is clear that we are having to re-work the way each of us lives with plastic, the most simple thing you can do is lead by example, questioning yourself when you are in the store or purchasing an item online. Asking, do I really need this item wrapped in plastic?