Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., in collaboration with the Plastics Institute of Thailand, Chulalongkorn University, PPP Plastics, Dow Thailand, and various affiliated agencies, such as the Pollution Control Department, the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, the Environment Office of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and Pathumwan District Office, launched the Siam Pieces Project to develop a sustainable plastic waste management model in line with the concept of circular economy, which will ultimately lead to the development of a business model for the entire supply chain. As part of this project, a study will be conducted on a sample group of consumers in Pathumwan with a grant from the Program Management Unit - Competitiveness (PMUC) under the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO). The objectives are to develop a business model for efficiently recirculating all types of used plastics through recycling; establish a model for waste separation centers with capabilities to process all types of plastic waste in Thailand’s hub of retail business OneSiam, consisting of three world-class shopping centers Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and Siam Discovery; sort recyclable and other materials; as well as to pass on this concept to the general public and raise awareness of the plastic waste crisis, which humanity can no longer afford to overlook. The project will ultimately result in guidelines that will become instrumental in realizing a sustainable cycle of used plastic management.
Ms. Narathip Rattapradit, Senior Executive Vice President of Operations of Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., said, “Environmental protection is a priority for Siam Piwat. Because we are committed to driving our business towards sustainability, we have applied the concept of circular economy to waste management in every process of our operations. We not only launch internal campaigns but also raise awareness among customers. Most recently, we have unveiled a recycle collection center where the general public can drop their waste in collaboration with the Plastics Institute of Thailand and Chulalongkorn University. We are very pleased to provide OneSiam as a venue for them to collect data from OneSiam employees and customers so as to obtain insights and develop a model for sustainable plastic waste management that can be scaled up to address plastic waste problems in various parts of Thailand. This initiative is also in line with global trends. For instance, the European Union (EU), which is seeking to alter consumer behavior to reduce plastic waste and realize a circular economy, has issued the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, effective July 3, 2021.”
Mr. Weera Kwanlertchit, Director of the Plastics Institute of Thailand, stated that thanks to the collaboration of government agencies, private businesses, and the general public in developing a circular economy blueprint, many organizations have become more environmentally conscious, especially with regard to plastic waste management. Spotting an opportunity to solve plastic waste problems and increase recycling, the Plastics Institute of Thailand sought a grant from PMUC to launch an overarching project to develop a business model for post-consumer plastic management based on the concept of circular economy in inner Bangkok, homing in on Pathumwan, a district with various important establishments, including academic institutions, shopping malls, offices, hospitals, and communities. Part of this overarching project is the Siam Pieces Project, which studies consumer behaviors that affect plastic waste sorting and disposal in order to understand consumers and find tools that can motivate them to separate plastic waste more. Subsequently, the project will study stakeholders across the circular supply chain so as to develop a business model that can reduce plastic waste generation and increase the amount of waste that goes to recycling facilities.
Prof. Dr. Supot Teachavorasinskun, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, stated, “At present, every sector places importance on environmental conservation and inventing technology for the management of post-consumer material, especially plastics. However, technology or innovation alone is not sufficient to solve plastic waste problems. It is necessary to also apply knowledge from other areas as well as adjust the behavior of consumers and plastic users and develop economic mechanisms that close the loop plastic management as stipulated by the circular economy. This process will create high-value plastics, while low-value counterparts can be recirculated back into the system to be further processed appropriately. Therefore, data must be collected and analyzed properly with academic rigor so that the results can be used as reference and scaled up to other localities. As an academic institution, Chulalongkorn University has thus decided to join the Siam Pieces Project, whose primary goal is to develop a business model that promotes and contributes to the realization of comprehensive plastic waste management so as to advance the concept of circular economy and drive Thailand’s sustainable development.”
Dr. Wijarn Simachaya, Chairman of PPP Plastics, said, “The Public Private Partnership for Sustainable Plastic and Waste Management (PPP Plastics) has taken part in awarding a grant to support the business model development project for post-consumer plastic management based on the concept of circular economy in inner urban areas. Currently, many business organizations have taken part in realizing a circular economy so as to solve plastic waste problems, seek plastic waste management solutions, and develop a well-balanced model that will lead to sustainable circular solutions in economic, social, and environmental dimensions. This effort to solve plastic waste problems is in line with the Bio-Circular-Green Model (BCG Model), which the government has established as an economic model for sustainable development and a national agenda. This business model shift will thus support the government policy in driving Thailand towards sustainability in the future.”
Mr. Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, President of Dow Thailand, remarked, “This project corresponds perfect with one of Dow’s sustainability goals announced last year, which is to stop plastic waste. We aim to recover one million tons of used plastics around the world for reuse or recycle. I am proud that Dow has joined hands with its partners to launch the Siam Pieces Project and develop a business model for efficient used plastic management. This will also enable recyclers and other stakeholders across the value chain to generate sufficient income to operate businesses independently, which will contribute to the sustainability of plastic management in the future.”
Furthermore, as part the press conference of the Siam Pieces Project via Zoom and Facebook Live on the Facebook page of the Plastics Institute of Thailand, a talk on the topic “Siam Pieces: A Model for Integrated Used Plastic Management” was held. The session was joined by Narathip Rattapradit, a senior executive of Siam Piwat, along with various well-known environmentalists and marine biologists who shared their perspectives and possible solutions to the plastic waste crisis, including Khemupsorn ‘Cherry’ Sirisukha, an environment activist; Prof. Dr. Pisut Painmanakul, Deputy Dean for Innovation and Sustainable Strategy, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University; Asst. Prof. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, marine ecologist and Deputy Dean for Special Affairs, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University; Prem Pruktayanon, owner of “3 Wheels Uncle” Facebook Page; and Chanat ‘Kong’ Wutwikaikan, a nature-loving TV host who actively communicates environmental issues.
Siam Pieces is a collaborative project that seeks to develop a post-consumer plastic management system that can be deployed in an urban context across the value chain from upstream to downstream and further developed into a business model that feeds all types of used plastics to the recycling process in a more sustainable and efficient manner in line with the concept of circular economy, creating a sustainable plastic waste management cycle for humanity both today and in the future.