Chemicals Business, SCG hosted SCG Chemicals Digest 2019 under the theme “Circular Economy: The Better Way,” featuring speakers from government agencies and a world-class business organization. The seminar aimed at inspiring over 400 plastic business owners attending the event to apply a circular economy model to their business and promoting maximum resource efficiency as this novel economic model, which encompasses the entire process, from production and consumption to raw material recovery, will contribute to more balanced business practices, a better quality of life, and a more sustainable future. The seminar was presided over by Deputy Minister of Industry Dr. Somchai Harnhirun, who shared the government’s vision in advancing a circular economy in Thailand, especially in the plastic industry. The event also included a session on innovation development and the application of circular economy to business for environmental impact reduction by the world-class company Procter and Gamble (P&G) as well as a session on product design for efficient resource recovery by the Plastics Institute of Thailand.
Dr. Somchai Harnhirun, Deputy Minister of Industry, stated that the Ministry of Industry strives to address environmental problems, especially water and air pollution, and issues related to waste management, which affect the environment and all lives on earth. To this end, it has been working ceaselessly to advance the concept of circular economy in Thailand to promote maximum resource efficiency. Recently, a research and development center for eco-friendly recycling technology has been established as part under the Industry Transformation Center (ITC) to research and develop methods of transforming waste into raw materials and alternative energy to alleviate waste and pollution problems in accordance with a circular economy model. He also added that the application of ideas in this economic model to the design of plastic products is not a matter of corporate social responsibility; it is the use of innovation in product development to ensure that the design of the product allows the material to be recovered and reused in a better way. This will enable companies to achieve sustainable competitiveness.
Sakchai Patiparnpreechavud, Vice President – Polyolefins and Vinyl Business of Chemicals Business, SCG, said that SCG believes that to fully make a circular economy a reality, the cooperation of every sector, including government agencies, private businesses, and public organizations, will be vital. In addition to using innovation and design products to last, another key component is waste management, which will contribute to efficient resource recovery.
SCG has worked in partnership with various domestic and oversea organizations to promote a more widespread adoption of this new economic model and initiated projects for sustainable waste reduction. These projects include the first recycled plastic road in RIL Industrial Estate in Rayong, constructed in collaboration with Dow Chemical; the Greenovative Lube Packaging Project, an innovative gallon made from used lubricant gallons developed in association with Bangchak Corporation; and the Circular Life Project, which promoted resource efficiency and proper waste sorting among SCG employees at the Bangsue Headquarters and increased waste recycling from 5% to 35% in only three months. SCG has planned to scale up all of these projects and expand them to other locations to achieve maximum impact.
Jutapat Boonvongsakorn, Managing Director of Procter and Gamble Manufacturing (Thailand) Company Limited, stated that P&G is committed to developing innovation to meet customers’ needs and working to minimizing environmental impact continuously. To this end, it has incorporated principles of a circular economy in its product design to ensure resource maximization, production waste reduction, and an efficient end-to-end management of expired products. This economic model is applied to the entire product life cycle. In the upstream stages, P&G has increased the concentration of its products, so that a smaller amount is required to achieve the same effect and launched products in smaller sizes to reduce logistic costs. As for the downstream stages, P&G has joined hands with startups in the US to recycle waste from manufacturing by adding it back to the production process, which presents a great challenge. The company believes that a circular economy will definitely enhance the competitiveness of Thai plastic business owners.
Dr. Kriengsak Wongpromrat, President of the Plastics Institute of Thailand, added that what entrepreneurs in the plastic industry should keep in mind when adopting a circular economy model is that the product design in the future will not be limited to just the product itself but will need to take into account its end of life and ensure that it does not create more burden to the world. In response to this monumental challenge, the Plastics Institute of Thailand is working to raise awareness of correct waste sorting and has initiated a public-private partnership for sustainable plastic and waste management. The institute believes that a circular economy will create growth opportunities for new businesses.
“SCG Chemicals Digest” is an annual seminar for the customers of Chemicals Business, SCG. It is hosted to broaden the horizons of the attendees regarding marketing, economy, and the landscape of the petrochemical industry and enhance their management capability in order to ensure their competitiveness and sustainable development