7 Nov 2023

Upcycling Milk Pouches Project

SCGC, Chemicals Business for Sustainability, operates its business in alignment with the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) approach, driven by the principle of resource utilization efficiency based on the circular economy concept with a focus on the development of environment-friendly polymers, also known as Green Polymers. Furthermore, we aim to minimize the impacts of global warming by enhancing energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy, and developing low-carbon technologies. The ultimate goal is to foster a low-carbon society, embracing the concepts of Low Waste and Low Carbon. We believe that waste management at source is one of the vital solutions that all stakeholders should collaboratively promote.

SCGC has taken the initiative to introduce the principles of the circular economy to communities surrounding the plants in Rayong Province. Under the "Waste-free Community" project, we connect homes, temples, schools, and waste banks to impart knowledge and instill the practice of waste sorting at source. More than 4,000 community members currently participate in this project, recycling over 236 tons of waste. This effort has helped reduce landfill waste and has decreased greenhouse gas emissions by more than 483,375 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (data as of September 30, 2022).

Furthermore, observing that a significant amount of waste in schools comes from milk pouches, SCGC, in collaboration with leading schools in Rayong Province, initiated the "Upcycling Milk Pouches" project. Leveraging innovation and design, SCGC adds value to used plastics like milk pouches by introducing them into recycling and transforming them into "recycled plastic chairs made from school milk pouches." These durable chairs not only promote waste management awareness but also demonstrate tangible examples of resource recycling.

In the past, SCGC has expanded the "Upcycling Milk Pouches" project in collaboration with schools under the jurisdiction of the Suphan Buri Primary Educational Service Area Office 1, encompassing 135 schools. Alongside this, SCGC is partnering with private sector networks to support other schools interested in joining the initiative. The objective is to further expand the program, aiming to cover 50 provinces with a target of 1,700 schools. The collaboration between SCGC, the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), and the Primary Educational Service Area Office (PESAO) will help promote systematic waste management in schools and raise widespread awareness of this initiative.

The "Upcycling Milk Pouches" project has established a comprehensive school milk pouch management model. It aids in reducing landfill waste while increasing recycling. The approach aligns with the "Eco-School" and "Zero Waste to School" programs promoted by the Department of Climate Change and Environment, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The program also seeks to raise awareness and extend its outreach, partnering with both government and private sector. SCGC invites the Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment and affiliated schools to participate in the project. The goal is to foster involvement and learning, integrating practical waste management activities for the youth. This will help young people appreciate the value of resource utilization. It starts with small actions and leads to cultivating a lifelong habit of environmental stewardship.

The "Upcycling Milk Pouches" project is a collective effort of all stakeholders in the recycling value chain, including both the government and private sectors, to address school waste issues with innovation, ensuring that used milk pouches, which are recyclable plastics, can be repurposed in line with circular economy principles. Once these milk pouches undergo the recycling process, they are transformed into recycled plastic resins, ready to be remolded into durable products. This breathes new life into plastic waste, enhancing recycling rates and reducing environmental impact. It serves as an exemplary model that can be further applied to other types of products.

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