Thailand Public-Private Partnership for Plastic and Waste Management
Collaboration for Sustainability of Plastic and Waste Management
Poor plastic waste management is a growing environmental concern and results in a negative impact on society, the economy, and people’s quality of life. An assessment shows that this impact will become more severe without proactive and systematic planning and solutions. On the other hand, effective waste management helps address economic, social, and environmental issues by transforming plastic waste into a valuable resource that builds economic value. Developing effective waste management requires wide-ranging cooperation by many sectors including producers, consumers, the private sector, and society to build an efficient waste management mechanism.
To take action, the Thailand Public-Private Partnership for Plastic and Waste Management, or PPP Plastic, was established on June 5, 2018, by the Plastic Industry Club and the Federation of Thai Industries, in partnership with the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD), organizations from the public and private sectors, and members of society. All jointly recognize the significance of the plastic waste problem and share the common goal of tackling this problem together. PPP Plastic aims to reduce marine plastic debris by at least 50% by 2027 through solutions such as sustainable waste management, the Circular Economy, and applying the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle).
Six working groups were established to assist the project in fulfilling its mandate. They cover: 1) Waste separation and management; 2) Innovation development; 3) Policy development and legislative measures; 4) Communications; 5) Managing a database of plastics; and 6) Identifying new sources of capital.
The working groups proposed four waste management measures for Thailand covering the period from 2018 until 2030 that serve as an operational roadmap for plastic waste management. These four measures are: 1) Education and communications to promote proper waste-sorting habits among consumers and society; 2) Developing an integrated waste collection and separation system; 3) Promoting recycling and upcycling businesses to add value to plastic waste and increase market demand; and 4) Encouraging retailers to participate in upstream waste management.
Currently, two pilot waste management projects are using the principles of the Circular Economy. The first is in Khlong Toei district, an urban area in Bangkok. The second is in Rayong, implemented at the community and provincial level, for which PTT Global Chemical PLC, or GC, is one of the project partners.
GC Circular Living and PPP Plastic
GC has extended the concept of the Circular Economy by developing “GC Circular Living,” which focuses on the activities people and communities can take to lead more environmentally-friendly lifestyles. GC’s key role in the PPP Plastic project includes:
- Being a member of the core working group.
- Assisting the group in developing a Circular Economy model at the provincial and community level in Rayong.
- Providing funding for project management.
Recent and current activities by GC include:
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on December 5, 2018, with the Rayong Provincial Administrative Organization to create jobs through proper waste sorting in the community, with a five-year period for the first phase of the project.
- Planning and implementing operational processes that support different areas such as preparation, innovation, data collection platforms, role models, and information platforms.
- Providing municipalities with knowledge about the benefits of plastic and other types of waste and the need for effective waste sorting.
- Coordinating with schools in Rayong to develop the “Waste Bank” project and extend its operations to cover shopping malls, stores, hotels, and tourist destinations.
- Continuously accumulating data on the amount of waste collected and the amount of plastic waste separated to develop a database for analysis.
- Creating operational plans to develop a sustainable waste management value chain.