With more demand for resources, both the public and private sectors are now seeking a sustainable way to use resources to its full capacity. Thus, many organizations have adopted circular economy which encourages the full use of resources and have adapted their way of doing business from the traditional Take-Make-Dispose model to the Make-Use-Return model. “SCG” is one of the organizations that understands the importance of sustainable development and has promoted the “Use Fully, Separate Wisely, and Throw Away Correctly” practice while collaborating with business allies to utilize this concept in order to develop new products.
Bangsue Model: From Policy to Practical Use
SCG has been determined to use circular economy, taking this concept which is part of its policy to apply to real business uses. The “Bangsue Model” is a part of the “SCG Circular Way” to efficiently manage waste generated at the company’s headquarter at Bangsue with the objective to raise awareness among employees about the value of resources by serving as a pilot project for waste management, putting the concept of circular economy to use through the “Use Fully, Separate Wisely, and Throw Away Correctly” concept, and developing the “KoomKah” application that allows communities to manage their waste by collecting and separating waste to facilitate the work of waste management facilities or waste banks.
Ban Rang Plub: Pilot Project for Circular Economy in the Community
Since then, SCG has expanded its pilot project to a small community at Ban Rang Plub Village in Ratchaburi province. After SCG talked to the community about their waste issues, the team educated locals on how to turn waste to wealth by allowing the community to self-manage the project and fully engage in the process.
The community also demonstrated determination and ownership of the waste management program, starting from nominating a leader within the community. Once the group has laid down its own rules, they started to separate the waste and found that organic waste or food waste is the category that is the most difficult to manage. Thus, SCG assisted them by teaching community members about organic waste management through the use of simple tools in the community and teaching them how to make compost from the waste by using grass or other organic waste. With this initiative, the food waste was transformed into animal feed and compost for the community which can also be sold to nearby communities as well. Moreover, the community started to develop and add value to their waste which earned them the reputation of “Zero Waste to Landfill Community”.
Partnership with Public Sector to Develop the Litter Trap
SCG has also partnered with the public sector – the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources – to develop the SCG – DMCR Litter Trap with a lid that could open and close, allowing it to contain a maximum of 700 kilograms of waste per trap. During the pilot project, the litter trap was installed in 24 areas across 13 provinces, while the SCG Smart Litter Trap 4.0 was also developed using technologies including machine learning and the internet of things to enhance the efficiency of waste collection in rivers with an automated system. The project also helped conserve energy by using solar energy and could collect 5 kilograms of trash per round
Turning Leftover Pipes to Fish Homes, Concrete to Artificial Reef
Moreover, SCG worked with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources as well as local fishermen groups to carry out the “SCG Fish Homes” project since 2012 in order to serve as a home for young and mature sea creatures that are made out of polyethylene plastic pipes or PE 100 that has been tested and shaped similarly to fish homes. To date, SCG has installed 2,090 fish homes across all provinces in the eastern and southern regions, engaging with 41 fishermen groups, creating 47 square kilometers of conservative ocean area, promoting growth among 172 species in the ocean and working with a network of over 22,480 volunteers nationwide. SCG has also designed an artificial reef by using 3D cement printing techniques, making them as similar to natural coral reef possible by combining the use of natural limestones with recycled materials such as concrete which has been taken from buildings that had been torn down.
From Waste to Roads: Lowering Costs while Enhancing Durability
SCG has also introduced an innovation to build “Recycled Plastic Roads” together with Dow Thailand Group by taking used plastic, shredding them into small pieces, then mixing them with asphalt to use as road surface material. Apart from adding value to plastic waste, the innovation has enhanced the quality of asphalt roads, making them 15-33% more durable. Meanwhile, SCG has joined hands with Supalai Public Company Limited on the “Recycled Concrete Aggregates for Road” project that utilized 100% recycled concrete aggregates such as concrete lumps and piles to replace natural materials then use them to construct concrete roads in development projects. The initiative added 7 million baht of value to waste for each project while eliminating the use of 100 tons of rock and sand for a 150 square meter area as well as lowered the amount of pollution-generating waste from these materials.
Introducing Green Meetings at the ASEAN Summit
SCG has also explored the possibility of organizing environmentally-friendly “Green Meetings” that was first implemented at the ASEAN Summit when SCG provided products made from recycled paper at the meeting, from exhibitions using recycled paper, photo backdrops, paper chairs, podiums, paper boxes to collect returned badges, notepads made from 100% recycled paper, Fest food packaging, paper straws, Fil Fest foldable water bottles, waste separation bins, cement bags, to woven baskets made from paper tapes that are produced using leftover material from SCG facilities to add value to these products. All of these initiatives are carried out with SCG’s determination to fully use existing resources by utilizing the production process to reuse paper materials and increasing the proportion of recycled materials in its manufacturing process while ensuring that the paper products are durable and suitable for various uses.
SCG believes that collaboration – from providing knowledge, raising awareness among consumers, to promoting the readiness of the country’s infrastructure for waste management and developing technology to add value to recycled products – are all factors that will contribute to the success of waste management in Thailand, with SCG as one of the driving forces to propel the ASEAN community to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future.