The “Our Khung Bangkachao” Project

Sustainable Collaboration for Effective Waste Management

Background:

In 2018, the Chaipattana Foundation established the “Our Khung Bangkachao” project to fulfill the royal wish of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The foundation developed the project together with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to preserve the environment in a large green area in Khung Bangkachao, Samut Prakan province. The project is a partnership between the public and private sectors in co-operation with local communities to maintain their traditional way of life. It has been widely recognized by 34 organizations including PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, or GC.

A five-year framework outlines the project’s key goals. They include ensuring green growth in the Khung Bangkachao community and conservation efforts focusing on three aspects: the environment, the economy, and culture and society. The community now serves as a model for green development to demonstrate a positive way to improve both quality of life and the environment.

GC Circular Living and Our Khung Bangkachao

One year after the project started, GC and Wat Chak Daeng teamed up to develop a waste management system that categorizes waste into three types: i) Organic waste, which Wat Chak Daeng turns into bio-extracts; ii) Hazardous waste, which is collected by the Sub-district Administrative Organization; and iii) Recyclable waste.

GC and its partners organized training sessions on proper waste management for people in the community and at Wat Chak Daeng. The training showed them how to sort waste by type more efficiently before it reaches plastic scrap buyers. The primary goal is to add value to plastic in line with GC’s Circular Living concept, which promotes and shares knowledge about waste management and segregation. The Circular Living initiative is also increasing social awareness about using upcycled products as an effective way to conserve natural resources.

Robes made from upcycled plastic

In addition to reducing the amount of waste, more effective waste management has led to new upcycled products such as saffron monks’ robes. GC and its partners upcycled discarded PET bottles into robes for Buddhist monks using cloth made from recycled polyester mixed with cotton and recycled antibacterial polyester zinc, which reduces the musty odor. These high-quality robes meet the requirements prescribed by the Buddhist discipline which include being comfortable and not too hot when worn, not easily wrinkled, a fabric that controls odors and dries quickly, and is available in the proper colors. The project also delivers value for the community, boosting local incomes by turning waste into treasure.

The successful Our Khung Bangkachao project, with GC heading up the waste management team, established a closed-loop waste management center and is also developing value-added products made from plastic waste. GC has pledged to continue its mission to increase local incomes and employment, supporting the Khung Bangkachao community’s aim of becoming an edu-tourism destination based on sustainable tourism.

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