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How do you get rid of 780,000 counterfeit items? Here’s the answer

How do you get rid of 780,000 counterfeit items? Here’s the answer


It has never been hard to find counterfeit and pirated goods in Thailand. However, the government is trying to change that. Officials across several government agencies have collaborated to locate knockoff products and prevent them from ever hitting the market.

While that solves one issue, it does create another problem. What do you do with these illicit garments, bags, belts, shoes, watches, mobile phones, discs, eyeglasses, cosmetics, hats and blankets?

You can’t just throw them away in a local landfill. Firstly, dropping them off at the dump will leave them vulnerable to thieves and scavengers who may end up selling the products on the open market anyway. Secondly, putting these into a landfill would be extremely harmful to the environment. Plastics from counterfeit sunglasses and electronics can end up in the ocean while the chemicals from cosmetics can seep into the soil and get into drinking water.  

Another common disposal method is open burning which is extremely dangerous. In many cases, these pirated goods are burnt at low temperatures with plastic packaging intact, meaning toxic fumes and smoke are released into the environment.

Suffice it to say, nothing is really being solved if the solution is causing just as many issues as the original problem. However, a recent mass destruction ceremony in Thailand provided the country a glimpse of how counterfeit products can be destroyed in a way that benefits everyone.  

Destroying $11 million worth of counterfeit products live on Zoom  

The Ministry of Commerce conducted the first ever Live Streaming Destruction Ceremony of Counterfeit Products in collaboration with the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), the Internal Security of Operations Command (ISOC), the Royal Thai Police, the Customs Department and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

It was a unique ceremony where more than 785,376 items worth an estimated THB354 million (USD11 million) were destroyed at INSEE Ecocycle facilities in Chonburi and Saraburi provinces. Law enforcement officials, legal appointees, brand representatives, foreign dialogue partners and the members of the various Diplomatic Corps tuned into the destruction which was broadcast via Zoom.

They were able to see the counterfeit and pirated goods annihilated live by INSEE Ecocycle, Thailand’s leading secure destruction company. And with Deputy Commerce Minister Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol saying the government will continue to crack down on pirated products in the Kingdom, the firm may find its services in high demand.

Ensuring counterfeit products don’t leave a mark

INSEE Ecocycle was selected to participate in the counterfeit products destruction ceremony because it is one of the only companies in Thailand providing a sustainable destruction method. Not only are the illicit goods being eliminated, but it is being done in a way the doesn’t negatively impact the environment.

That is part of INSEE Ecocycle’s zero waste to landfill philosophy. The company achieves this through a sustainable method called co-processing which ensures there is nothing left over needing to be discarded in a landfill. The counterfeit goods are incinerated to power INSEE cement kilns with the process leaving no residuals. The sustainable destruction is supported by end-to-end security and a range of other support to provide complete peace of mind. Goods are tracked from the moment they are collected until they have been destroyed.  Transportation to INSEE waste management facility is monitored via GPS equipped to the vehicles and locked up with security seals. The goods then arrive at the facilities which are monitored 24/7 by CCTV and security guards.

Once at the waste management platform, the items are pre-processed to ensure everything is ready. Then comes the destruction which can be viewed remotely in real time via Zoom, through a recording or even in person at the INSEE facility. INSEE Ecocycle can even provide a certificate of destruction once the process has been carried out.

The entire process from the moment the goods are picked up until destruction is carried out by the well-trained and experience INSEE Ecocycle staff. For the brands who had been victims of counterfeiting, they could be rest assured these shoddy imitations would never see the light of day again.

Getting rid of more than just cheap knockoffs

The Live Streaming Destruction Ceremony of Counterfeit Products showcased both the capabilities of INSEE Ecocycle and the firm’s reputation as a leader in sustainable destruction. However, its services extend well beyond eliminating fake designer handbags, imitation name brand electronics and various other cheap knockoffs.

Product recalls can be a nuisance for any businesses. These goods either take up valuable space or require companies to pay for additional storage until a decision can be made on what to do with them. Opting for secure destruction not only eliminates this headache, but also guarantees that recalled goods won’t be able to re-enter the market.

It’s a similar story when it comes to expired stock which can take up large amounts of space and has no real purpose. Having INSEE Ecocycle destroy this expired inventory allows you to remove it from the premise in a safe, sustainable matter.       

"INSEE Ecocycle can also handle the destruction of everything from confidential information and documents to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. And with end-to-end security in place, brand reputation is protected ."

INSEE Ecocycle can also handle the destruction of everything from confidential information and documents to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. And with end-to-end security in place, brand reputation is protected.

Of course, there is more to it than that. Regardless of what is being destroyed, it is vital to do so in a manner that prevents pollution of any kind. Disposing of counterfeit or recalled products, unwanted goods or any other materials must be done in a certifiably safe manner.

Similar to how having unapproved products on the open market can harm the reputation of a business, unsafe disposal can damage a brand in the eyes of the public. Companies that pollute continue to come under intense scrutiny which means secure and sustainable destruction is the only solution that will completely protect companies.