It takes many years for SCG to lay a solid foundation on waste management through several initiatives. Among them is “Waste-free Community”, which is modeled from “Bang Sue Model,” an SCG’s internal waste management project.
The goal of this project is to empower communities and change their mindsets and behaviors. To achieve that, SCG introduced transformative Circular Economy-based strategies: resource maximization, correct sorting, proper disposal, and waste reduction methods which are waste separation and recycling, aligning with SCG Circular Way. The approach aims to reduce waste going landfill or incineration, the primary contributor to global pollution.
One of the communities that SCG gives a helping hand is a community in Map Ta Phut municipality in Rayong province. As the community is growing fast, coupled with a speedy rise in population growth, overwhelming waste problems ensued as a consequence. Hence, SCG introduced the “Waste-free Community” initiative to provide a solution bridging community points like homes, temples, schools, and waste banks to work together and promote efficient resource usage and waste separation at source through 3 captivating strategies #ResourceMaximization, #CorrectSorting, and #ProperDisposal. The strategies are intended to lower waste generation and enable effective wet and dry waste separation. The initiative aims to create a community-based model to drive a sustainable Circular Economy action along with cutting waste going landfill while increasing recycling rates. To date, about 80 households join the initiative, and over 6,500 kilograms of waste have been recycled.
With continued collaboration, today, we see an excellent output that we are proud of. The heroes are no one else but students at Wat Khod Hin MittraphapThi 42 School, who incorporated the concept of resource efficiency acquired through activity-based learning that SCG has helped promote. The highlight is “world-saving milk bags,” which make use of plenty of waste items generated daily like school milk bags. Students wash and dry the used milk bags made from LLDPE (Linear low-density polyethylene) and sell them. They also delivered some used milk bags to Chemicals Business, SCG, to be used as raw materials to produce a chic and durable “chair” made entirely of recycled milk bags. One chair weighs 8 kilograms and used a total of 750 milk bags.
Apart from children getting their first-hand experience in recycling and seeing the outcome as the unique chair created by their concerted effort from collecting and sorting plastic milk bags, their mindsets have changed, and they no longer consider garbage as nasty items. They now adopt the idea that “waste is not waste” if waste sorting at source is integrated, especially plastic bags that they can circulate and maximize its value. This way can help lessen the amount of waste leaking into the environment.
Next to “world-saving milk bags” an activity-based learning station is “innovative plant nursery”. Milk bag wash-water treated by grease trap is used to water vegetable garden they grow for lunch meals. The learning activities allow students to understand the resource usage on a continual cycle.
All of the efforts are to build the foundation on environmental education among community members to support them to move forward alongside SCG. Serving as the main force to drive the community and society, adults are responsible for educating and engaging children and young people in Circular Economy-based actions for a sustainable society and environment in the future.