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Moken Guardians of the Sea: Safeguarding the Ocean from Plastics

Our project aims to reduce marine plastic pollution by collecting Ocean Bound Plastic in southern Thailand in a circular economy approach and supporting local precarious minority. Since April 2019 the Swiss Foundation Jan & Oscar has been running a plastic sorting facility with direct access to the sea in Ranong, allowing fishermen to bring and sell plastic with their long tail boats directly at our pier. We provide education for young students, a place to live, employment and income opportunities for local precarious minorities, of which are the Moken, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic fishing people who live on several islands in the Andaman Sea.

  • Schools of the Waste Bank program : Education and awareness of young people is one of the best ways to fight marine plastic pollution in the long term. That's why we have created an educational program that includes the construction of waste banks in schools in the region. The pilot location for this program is Khao Niwet School in Ranong. In 2019, we founded the construction of a waste bank where students can bring recyclable waste. We held workshops in schools to sensitize children about pollution and recycling. In 2021, the Waste Bank scheme is expanding to 5 schools in the Andaman Sea islands.
  • Ranong Recycle for Environment Social Enterprise : The Social Enterprise goal is to collect Ocean Bound Plastic waste and process it for our customers to recycle/upcycle it. We are working with coastal and island-based waste collectors. And we employ people from Moken and Burmese communities to process the plastic at our centre. Our business model is based on collaboration between the private sector, the civil society and the government. We only work with partners who support the strong environmental and social impact of our project. All profits generated by the social enterprise will be used to fund services for local communities.
  • Local communities : Supporting local communities is at the heart of our project. This is done in two ways: buying Ocean Bound Plastic from the local collectors living on the neighbouring islands of Ranong (islands collectors) or on the coastal mainland (land-based collectors) ; and employing workers at our waste collection center. We provide training, decent work conditions and salary, and a place to live to the workers. We provide additional income for the collectors, buying them plastic at a price higher than the market price. These groups include members of the Moken community. Their traditional way of life has been under threat for several years because of intensive fishing and plastic pollution. Most of these exceptional swimmers live under the absolute poverty line and are not registered citizens. These groups also include other socially marginalized individuals (Burmese migrants, single moms).
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture

Our actions

Run a plastic collection and sorting facility with direct access to the sea
Recruit and train of personnel on plastic sorting focusing on socially marginalized communities - Moken and Burmese
Engage local schools in our waste bank program, produce an educational kit and workshop to educate children about plastic pollution and recycling
Find new market and innovative solutions for upcycling ocean plastics
No. of students involved in our programmes
Target: 750
Collection period: 2020
No. of Moken people working at Ranong Recycle for Environment
Target: 8
% of women working at Ranong Recycle for Environment
Collection period: 2021
No. of people working at Ranong Recycle for Environment
Target: 15

Our outcomes

New income opportunities created for minorities (Moken fishermen) and socially marginalized individuals by collecting and sorting plastics
Increased visibility of our project at the local, national and international level
No. of islands on which plastic was collected since January 2020
Target: 6
No. of island-based groups of waste collectors involved in the project
Target: 10
Total amount of Ocean Bound plastic collected since January 2020 (in kg)
Target: 130000
No. of waste collectors involved in the project
Target: 40
Workers declaring they feel trained to recognize different types of plastics since being involved with the project
Target: 80% totally agree
  • 1 - Totally disagree
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 - Totally agree
No. of 100kg bales of plastic produced and stored in the centre since January 2020
Target: 1200
No. of followers on the Facebook page
Target: 5000

Our impacts

Reduced plastic leakage into the ocean for cleaner environment and less environmental issues
Creation of a circular economy network: Ocean Bound Plastic recycled by our partner to decrease dependency on virgin materials
Workers declaring they are more aware of the plastic pollution of the environment since being involved with the project.
Target: 80% totally agree or slightly agree
  • 1 - Totally disagree
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 - Totally agree
No. of students stating they have changed their behavior regarding waste sorting and recycling
Target: 400
Collection period: 2020
Kg of PET plastic bottles recycled through the facility since January 2020
Target: 100000

Who we are

Mrs. Laurence Pian logo
Mrs. Laurence Pian
Jan and Oscar Founder
Dr. Michel Pardos logo
Dr. Michel Pardos
Project Leader
Ms. Capucine Paour logo
Ms. Capucine Paour
Project coordinator
Mr. Nirattisai Ponputi (Chay) logo
Mr. Nirattisai Ponputi (Chay)
Operation manager
Ms. Jutamart Naorachan (Bow) logo
Ms. Jutamart Naorachan (Bow)
Coastal communities and education Project Coordinator
Ms. Boondarik Jampathai (Bua) logo
Ms. Boondarik Jampathai (Bua)
Volunteer for Jan & Oscar Foundation
Mr. Henri Klunge logo
Mr. Henri Klunge
Volunteer for Jan & Oscar Foundation
Tam logo
Employee of Ranong Recycle
Min logo
Employee of Ranong Recycle
Wut logo
Employee of Ranong Recycle
Ms. Nui Pramongkit logo
Ms. Nui Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Amina Kan logo
Mrs. Amina Kan
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Som O Pramongkit logo
Som O Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Manaw logo
Mrs. Manaw
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Ms. Look Pramongkit logo
Ms. Look Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mizu logo
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Koy logo
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Daw Lae Lae Win (Boo) logo
Mrs. Daw Lae Lae Win (Boo)
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Ploy logo
Worker at Ranong Recycle