Updated: May 7, 2022
Although I place transparent packaging containers in a recycled bin, I threw away cat food & coffee packaging sachets assuming they are non-recyclable waste. But Green Road (https://www.facebook.com/greenroad.enterprise/) has changed my mind.
Green Road is an initiative, founded 10 years ago, by Asst. Professor Wechsawan Lakas (nickname Pow) from the Industrial Technology Department of Science and Technology Faculty at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University located in the northern province of Thailand. Driven by the passion for solving the devastating & massive plastics waste problem in Thailand in a scalable way, Pow, a civil engineer by training, together with his team of engineers and students have been conducting research and development in utilizing plastics and glass waste in creating higher performance and greener construction materials and products. One of his flagship products and most impactful so far is the "Green Road" produced with a magic recipe for making Asphalt Concrete by mixing aggregates, bitumen, and green ceramics (a mixture of shredded plastics + glass wastes). One square meter of asphalt concrete mixed with this green ceramics consumes 1kg of plastic waste. Pow highlights that utilizing plastic waste for producing construction materials for building roads and other public infrastructures is one of the most effective ways to treat the billions of tons of plastic waste on our planet today.
Funded by theNational Research Council of Thailand, Pow's technology was able to transfer to industry partners for constructing roads, as pilot projects, in four regions of Thailand. Pow continues his efforts in further developing his technology to transform waste into value, educate and train students and researchers in focusing on purposeful R&D enabling circularity industry development producing products from waste, educating consumers to separate plastic waste, and building partnerships across Thailand in reducing waste.
Pow stresses that communities must separate their waste, then process the waste locally, to build roads and produce locally other products such as waste floor blocks, flip-flops, furniture, and more.
He is also seeking more partners both nationally & internationally to scale up the impact of his technology globally.