SCG Chemicals, or SCGC, has joined hands with the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) and the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to scale up the Upcycling Milk Pouches Project, which puts forward a school waste management model in accordance with circular economy principles (Circular Economy in School Model) initiated by SCGC, with the goal of educating young students through hands-on experience. The expansion will be carried out in collaboration with network members, consisting of government agencies and private organizations, aiming to cover 1,700 schools in 50 targeted provinces, in order to bring about systematic and tangible waste management in accordance with Eco-School approach. In this regards, “Kids Save the World”, a contest where young people are invited to submit video clips demonstrating creative ways of managing used milk pouches, also promoted.
Dr.Suracha Udomsak, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, SCG Chemicals (SCGC), stated, “SCGC, chemicals business for sustainability, strives to foster growth alongside its environmental, social, and governance or ESG, placing emphasis on circular economy principles and green innovations such as Green Polymer. In addition, SCGC focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emission with energy efficiency, renewable energy and low carbon technology, seeking to create a Low Waste, Low Carbon society, the core of which is at-source waste sorting.”
SCGC expanded circular economy principle to communities surrounding its manufacturing plants in Rayong under the Waste-free Community Project, which links homes, temples, schools, and waste banks together as well as fosters the habit of waste separation at the source. Currently, the project has over 4,000 participants, over 236 tonnes of waste were recycled which reduced waste to landfill, and over 483,375 kgCO2eq of greenhouse gas emission were reduced.” (Information as of 30 September 2022)
By working on waste management with schools, SCGC found that milk pouches made up the largest portion of the waste. Therefore, SCGC has collaborated with pilot schools to initiate “Upcycling Milk Pouches Project”, in which used plastic milk pouches, through innovation and design, were added value and transformed into durable recycled plastic chairs, thus cultivating awareness of waste management and providing a concrete example of resource circulation.
“The project has since been expanded to a total of 135 affiliated schools under Suphanburi Primary Education Service Area Office 1, and SCGC has been working with its network of private organizations to support other schools interested in joining the project, targeting to cover 1,700 schools in 50 targeted provinces. The collaboration between SCGC, DEQP and OBEC will drive systematically and tangibly waste management in schools to wider areas.” added Dr. Suracha.
Mr. Somsak Sappakosonkul, Director General of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP), said, “The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Education have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to carry out the Eco-School Project, with the objective of fostering collaboration and encouraging all schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to develop environmental learning activities and the guidelines for developing green citizens who are guided by eco-consciousness and responsibility towards natural resources and the environment, both of which must be cultivated in childhood years. SCGC’s Upcycling Milk Pouches Project has provided an integrated milk pouch management model that can reduce landfilling and increase recycling, consistent with the approach of the Eco-School Project and Zero Waste to School. The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, is ready to drive and promote the project through its network, including both government agencies and private organizations, and has invited the Provincial Office for Natural Resources and Environment and schools in the network to join the project in order to make waste management education more tangible and widespread, develop youths who appreciate the value of resources, and sustainably foster an eco-conscious habit in the future.”
Mr. Anan Phannuek, Ph.D., Secretary-General of the Basic Education Commission’s Assistant, stated, “The Upcycling Milk Pouches Project is an initiative guided by the principles of circular economy, thus forming part of the BCG Economy Model, which is a national agenda. The project strives to educate young children and teaching them to separate waste at the source. Under this project, innovation is applied to transformed used milk pouches into durable value-added objects, such as chairs and plant pots, thus offering a concrete example of resource recirculation. OBEC is pleased and ready to drive the project through Primary Education Service Area Offices and affiliated schools under OBEC in order to raise awareness of resource efficiency and environmental responsibility among schoolchildren and ultimately create Zero Waste schools in the future.”
The “Kids Save the World” Contest, which is part of the Upcycling Milk Pouches Project, is inviting students in elementary and primary schools nationwide to submit videos no longer than 3 minutes demonstrating creative and interesting ways to manage used milk pouches in schools. Participants stand a chance to win scholarships worth over THB 100,000 in total as well as award plaques and certificates. The contest is open for entries now until 13 January 2023. For more information, please visit www.scg.com or Facebook: SCGofficialpage.