Navy’s Zero Baht Shop barters recyclables for household items

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A Royal Thai Navy division is giving the recycling business a twist, opening a barter-based shop where military personnel trade recyclables for home staples.

Rear Adm. Wittawas Na Nakjorn, commander of the Sattahip Naval Base’s Factory Department, cut the ribbon on the division’s “Zero Baht Shop,” where the department’s 700 personnel and family members can exchange recyclable garbage for daily necessities.

The Navy has opened a “Zero Baht Shop” where military personnel trade recyclables for home staples.The Navy has opened a “Zero Baht Shop” where military personnel trade recyclables for home staples.

Sompong Tancharoenpol, president of the Thailand Institute of Packaging Management for Sustainable Environment, said the barter-based recycling center is the first of its kind in eastern Thailand. Sompong, who also is vice president of the Thailand Industrial Council, said the navy contacted the TIPMSE to help set up the center for use by department personnel and the Thungprong neighborhood in Sattahip.

Wittawas said the Zero Baht Shop’s target audience generates more than 50 tons of garbage per month. Under the navy’s “White Factory, Green Village” program, officials are trying to educate staffers the value of recyclables by giving out household items worth the equivalent of the materials recycled.

TIPMSE, which has opened nine similar centers elsewhere, helped the navy build and launch the center.