8 January 2021, Bangkok – Ban Amphur in Chonburi, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT), MQDC, and Precious Plastic Bangkok have announced a partnership to launch a plastic waste processing community enterprise to help tackle ocean plastic in the Eastern Seaboard.
For the first time, the social enterprise will upcycle plastic waste from the sea into construction material for sale. The local community is partnering with government agencies, the municipality, private companies, and educational institutions to address ocean plastic.
The first prototype at Ban Amphur aims to turn all marine plastic waste into building materials within 5 years, ready for expansion to other communities in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
MQDC shared knowledge on developing building materials, partnering with Precious Plastic Bangkok in workshops on using waste compaction equipment to empower the Ban Amphur community to create products with real benefits.
Mrs. Achara Tabkhan, Director of the Division of Public Health and Environment of Na Chom Thian at Sattahip District in Chonburi, said: “Ocean plastic in the area totals 1,140 tons/year with 18 tons/year of fishing gear. Waste is damaging the coastal environment and threatening the survival of animals and marine ecosystems. This is Thailand’s first integrated multi-sector community enterprise and will help manage plastic waste at all stages from upstream to downstream.”
In collaboration with MQDC’s Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC), the municipality is preparing to push forward several environmental regulations to make Na Chom Thian a model municipality for environmental management in the EEC.
These measures will include enhanced public spaces, a ban on smoking on the beach, a garbage collection vehicle on the beach, and a waste collector on the canal, as well as activities to highlight the value of continuous waste collection tailored to the community.
Activities will include a campaign for communities to collect waste in exchange for chicken eggs.
Mr. Wakin Thangkulawat, Senior Vice Presidents of MQDC, said that the developer has joined forces with volunteers, schools, educational institutions, Na Chom Thian Municipality, and the private sector on activities such as monthly ocean plastic collection campaigns, walking and running to collect rubbish, the "Ban Amphur Plogging Fair", a “Little Heroes” youth camp for the environment, a bottle exchange project, a project to bring milk cartons home, together aimed at reducing waste by about 2.5 tons/month.
In addition to the waste project, the initiative has held 10 free English lessons to educate local children.
“MQDC has worked with its Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC), specialized in eco-friendly materials, to introduce network partners for developing standardized building materials for real estate projects.
"MQDC will buy 2 forms of building material made from plastic waste by the community enterprise for use in future projects and at various locations in the surrounding community, starting with an order of 250,000 baht for bricks to build walls at Ban Amphur School,” said Wakin.
To learn more or support plastic waste upcycling, please contact Mr. Anusorn Sainapa, President of the Local Volunteer Group, on 081 901 5679 or follow news at FB: Rak Talay Sane Ban Amphur (รักษ์ทะเลเสน่ห์บ้านอำเภอ)