On July 10, 2018, Chulalongkorn University joined together with PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, or GC, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote the use of bioplastics and implement more effective waste management practices on the university’s campus. This is an important pilot program that will make a positive contribution to the country’s waste management strategy.
Prof. Bundhit Eua-arporn, Rector of Chulalongkorn University, said that the university recognizes the problem of solid waste on its premises, which affects over 40,000 students and staff. In response, the university initiated the “Chula Zero Waste” project to reduce and segregate waste while increasing awareness of effective waste management and encouraging positive practices among students and staff. Chulalongkorn University teamed up with GC to promote the use of eco-friendly packaging at the university by adopting bio-based polybutylene succinate (BioPBSTM), which is used to make the Zero-Waste Cup, as a 100% biodegradable substitute for traditional plastic in food packaging. The university plans to extend the use of BioPBS items to all 17 of its canteens in 2018. This is expected to replace the use of roughly 170,000 disposable plastic cups and other items per month, or about two million items per year. Chulalongkorn University is also implementing a comprehensive waste management system to collect the Zero-Waste Cups so they don’t end up in landfills and are instead composted into organic fertilizer. This will be the first Closed-Loop Bioplastic Management practice at a university in Thailand.
Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, President & Chief Executive Officer of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, said, “As a leading petrochemical company, GC is committed to encouraging a better and more eco-friendly quality of life, and views Thailand’s plastic waste problem as a major priority. We apply the principles of the Circular Economy to all our activities and business operations, resulting in maximum resource efficiency. GC used crops such as sugar cane, cassava, and corn as raw materials to develop bio-based BioPBSTM. It can substitute for traditional plastic in food packaging, including coated paper cups, and packaging for hot and cold food and beverages. As BioPBSTM has functional performance equal to normal plastics and is biodegradable, it offers dual benefits.”
GC is pleased to be working with Chulalongkorn University to promote the use of the Zero-Waste Cup, which biodegrades within 180 days. The company is also helping to increase awareness and understanding of plastic waste management practices at the university and in neighboring communities. This includes separating, collecting, and recycling plastics while promoting the use of recycled products in line with the principles of the Circular Economy to encourage better living and look after the environment, both on and off campus.