Kaokonlakao: The Great Charity Run Event
Many people fondly remember the first "Kaokonlakao" charity run in 2016 which raised funds for hospitals, led by famed rocker Artiwara Kongmalai (also known as Toon Body Slam), together with several celebrities and groups of participants who ran across Thailand raising large sums of money for hospitals. The event has continued every year since then. This year, the charity run was registered as the "Kaokonlakao Foundation" which aims to sustainably fund community hospitals helping them to improve their ability to provide medical treatment. The 2019 "Kaokonlakao… Moving Forward Together" charity run has volunteer teams running up to 10 kilometers in relays with the run divided into five regions: 1. Isaan (Northeastern Thailand); 2. Southern Thailand; 3. Northern Thailand; 4. Eastern Thailand; and 5. Central Thailand to raise donations for 7-8 hospitals per run.1
1 To learn more about the Kaokonlakao Foundation, visit: https://kaokonlakao.com/about
Thailand's first charity run that aims to reduce plastic waste generated by the project
The current Kaokonlakao project is Thailand's first charity run that reduces plastic waste generated throughout the project period. In this regard, GC is playing a pivotal role by promoting a Lifestyle Focused on Reducing Waste in line with the concept of GC Circular Living which aims to increase social awareness and participation in the recycling and upcycling of plastic waste into value-added materials. This year's project is therefore seen as an important step forward - focusing on both the mental and health benefits from physical exercise, but also the environmental focus.
Guidelines to reduce waste generated in the Kaokonlakao project
- Medals produced using recycled plastic
GC partnered with Somchana Kangwanjit, the designer of the medals, and Srithai Company Limited using discarded plastic to design and produce the medals given to participants across Thailand. The five medals include different motifs and patterns that reflect the unique and indigenous identities of each region in the country, and are combined into a "pyramid-shaped trophy" symbolizing wisdom. Furthermore, the combination of each medal represents how small actions together, can have outsized impacts.
- Reducing single-use plastics, promoting bioplastics
The biodegradable GC Compostable Cup, which is made from plants, is being used by participants at all drink stations in the Health Expos in each region, which will reduce the use of single-use plastics. Following the run in the southern region, GC will donate the compostable cups to the Royal Forest Department for use in planting sprouts and as biomass fertilizer. GC is also providing bags for the project's t-shirts which are also made from bioplastic.
- Upcycling used plastic bottles to produce ribbons and t-shirts promoting resource efficiency
The used plastic bottles generated after the run in each region are collected and upcycled by GC into fibers used to produce ribbons for the medals as well as T-shirts for upcoming activities, demonstrating the company's commitment to resource efficiency in line with the Circular Economy.
Positive environmental impacts
So far, the Kaokonlakao - Moving Forward Together project has completed runs in two regions: southern and northeastern Thailand. GC helped reduce plastic waste by upcycling over 160,000 plastic bottles:
- The first run which took place in northeastern Thailand collected over 80,000 plastic bottles which were upcycled into 10,000 T-shirts that were sold, as well as ribbons for medals that were given out at the second run in southern Thailand.
- The second run in southern Thailand collected over 82,000 plastic bottles which were upcycled into T-shirts and ribbons for medals for the run in northern Thailand.
In addition, over 9,000 GC Compostable Cups were donated to the Royal Forest Department for use to plant sprouts.
Those interested in purchasing Kaokonlakao souvenirs can click here: http://bit.ly/2JlUc1u
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