Thai Union volunteers clear 11 tonnes of ocean rubbish for World Oceans Day

Over 470 employees of Thai Union Group from Thailand, the U.S., Africa, and Europe came together for World Oceans Day to collect rubbish in their local communities.

Volunteers from nine locations across four continents participated in the clean-up efforts, supporting the company’s goal of preventing 1,500 tons of ocean-bound plastic from entering waterways and oceans by 2030.

The Thai Union teams gathered a total of 11,036 kilograms of rubbish from nine sites, including mangroves, rivers, beaches, and urban areas in Thailand, two locations in the U.S., as well as in Ghana, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Italy. The most commonly collected items were plastic bags, plastic bottles, foam, old fishing gear, and over 10,000 cigarette butts.

“As a global seafood company, protecting the ecosystems we operate in is fundamental to our purpose,” said Thai Union CEO Thiraphong Chansiri. “Our business depends on healthy oceans and thriving ecosystems, which is why we have committed to the broadest-reaching sustainability plan in the industry.”

In Thailand, 26 volunteers from Thai Union Group, Thai Union Manufacturing, Okeanos Food and Thai Union Feedmill, along with 224 volunteers from local organizations and four local schools joined the effort, collecting 2,237 kilograms of rubbish at the Mangrove Forest Research Center in the Samut Sakhon region.

In the U.S., 47 volunteers collected 65 kilograms across two locations. The teams organized their clean-ups near one of their commercial offices in Los Angeles, California, at the Manhattan Beach Roundhouse Aquarium, and near their manufacturing facility in Lyons, Georgia, at the Bullard Creek Wildlife Management Area Hazlehurst.

In Ghana, where Thai Union operates Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC), 97 employees as well as members from partner organizations and the community came together to clean the canoe landing beach and the surrounding area close to the PFC factory in Tema. They collected 8,600 kilograms of rubbish and old fishing gear. PFC also ran blood donations for the Tema General Hospital.

In Europe, 77 volunteers from Norway, the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Italy cleared 134 kilograms of rubbish from urban areas, rivers, and beaches.

“100 percent of our branded products will be in sustainable packaging by 2025, eliminating non-recyclable plastic from our brands. We also advocate for at least 60 percent of private label products to be in sustainable packaging,” said Adam Brennan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Thai Union. “We are addressing plastic on multiple fronts: within our operations, through our Global Ghost Gear Initiative partnership to recover and repurpose abandoned fishing gear, and through major collaborations to divert 1,500 tons of plastic from our oceans by 2030.”

The trash collected on World Oceans Day was sorted and recorded following International Coastal Cleanup guidelines. Recyclable items were processed by local waste handling companies, while non-recyclables were managed by local waste organizations.
Since Thai Union began its global cleanup campaigns, volunteers worldwide have collected 25,171 kilograms of rubbish.