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17 Apr 2024

In a significant move towards environmental sustainability, Vinventions has partnered with Second Life, a pioneering social enterprise dedicated to combating ocean plastic waste by collecting and recycling it. Through the acquisition of plastic credits, Vinventions supports Second Life’s impactful initiatives, aligning with the South Pole’s Net Zero Plastic to Nature certification for its Blue Line range of closures. This partnership underscores a shared commitment to environmental stewardship and the global fight against plastic pollution. Tristan Lecomte, founder of Second Life, gives us an overview of the collaboration between Second Life and Vinventions.

Could you start by telling us about the mission and vision of Second Life?

Second Life is a social enterprise with a deep-rooted mission to give plastics a second life, thereby removing waste from our environment and creating a positive social impact. Our vision is to innovate and collaborate with brands such as Vinventions, to help them reduce their plastic footprint by crafting solutions that not only address plastic waste but also benefit underprivileged communities, particularly in Thailand’s coastal and island regions, and enable closed-loop circularity.

How does Second Life specifically contribute to reducing ocean plastic?

We’re focused on collecting ocean-bound plastics, especially in islands and coastal areas where waste management is often lacking. Our key operations are on the islands along the Andaman Coastline of Thailand in the provinces of Krabi, Ranong, Trang, Phang-Nga. We’ve established a network of over 1,200 collectors, helping us gather over 4,000 tonnes of plastic waste since our inception in January 2020. These initiatives not only clean our oceans but also provide sustainable income to local communities. In 2023 alone, an estimated 4400+ low-income family members were supported through the Second Life plastic collection and recycling program.

What makes Second Life’s approach unique in the fight against plastic pollution?

Our approach is holistic, involving the entire lifecycle of plastic waste. We’re the first project globally certified under the Verra plastic waste reduction standards, ensuring transparency and a high standard of operations. From collection by grassroots communities to recycling and reintroducing plastics back into the industry, we ensure that 100% of the collected waste is processed, with a significant portion, around 80 %, being recycled into new products. The remaining 20%, which is non-recyclable, is incinerated in controlled environments as part of energy recovery processes. This comprehensive method sets us apart and maximizes environmental and social impact.

Can you tell us more about the collaboration with Vinventions and how it supports Second Life’s goals

We believe that companies can be part of the solution to support circular plastic supply chains and generate new sources of incomes for vulnerable communities. Vinventions, in choosing to purchase plastic credits from Second Life, aligns itself with leading global brands like Caudalie or Bentley Motors, who have also recognized the urgency and importance of having a circular approach. Vinventions not only supports our mission of combating ocean plastic pollution but also joins a growing movement among industry leaders. These partnerships enable us to scale our operations, enhancing our impact on waste reduction and community support.

How does the financial model of Second Life work, especially in terms of supporting the collectors and recycling efforts?

Our model is designed to ensure that the majority of funds go directly to the waste collectors, about 50%, significantly improving their standard of living. Another 20% is allocated to our recycling partners for their critical role in the process, and the remaining 30% supports operational costs and tracing/monitoring efforts in the field. We’re transparent in our operations, with every step certified under the Verra standard, reinforcing the credibility and effectiveness of our work.

The 2023 Second Life’s Annual report has just been released. What are the main figures you would like to share?

In 2023, we supported 1278 collectors and recyclers in three provinces of Thailand, Ranong, Krabi and Trang for a total of 13 islands and 653 tons of plastics collected and recycled. 85% of this plastic have been sent to recyclers to be processed.

Discover more by reading the Second Life 2023 report .

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