top of page

Thailand Plastic Ghostbusters

On STEAM Platform, we advocate leadership in the circular economy. People are making a difference. Entrepreneurs are driving change and leading us towards a more sustainable future. In Thailand, we discover youth leadership and entrepreneurship from the ground up. In partnership with Incubation Network,

We launched the Waste Action Network (WAN) on Oct. 17th, 2021, by featuring a short film Plastic Ghostbusters produced by a team of 10 undergraduate students from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), commissioned by KMUTT's Green Heart Program. The event was continued by three passionate entrepreneurs (the "ghostbusters in action) sharing their vision, practices, and challenges faced in their day-to-day business. This issue of the newsletter features the highlights of the start-up's practices in eliminating plastic waste and the passion and commitment to circular economy transition in Thailand the region. Hope you enjoy this issue and join us in accelerating the circular economy transition.

The world has been focusing on battling plastic pollution on land and the ocean. Waste management has been one of the key challenges in most of the developing world. In Thailand, the waste management ecosystem is complex, and household waste is usually not segregated at the source. Plastic waste has been like ghosts, everywhere, in landfills, on beaches, in the sea, and in their neighborhood. In this issue of the newsletter, we feature three Thai startups: Green2get, Trash Lucky, and CirPlas, whose founders are passionate entrepreneurs dedicated to eliminating waste, especially plastic waste in Thailand. Being an entrepreneur in the waste management sector is very challenging due to the perceived low value of waste, and it is not a profitable or sexy business cleaning up the environment. The three ghostbusters shared their challenges faced. To accelerate the circular economy transition, they recommend to the regulators to

1) Allow recycle PET to be used for food packaging,

2) Provide plastic-type labeling, and

3) Provide regulations and incentives along the supply chain to improve recycling and the use of recycled materials in products.

Green2get (founded by Prem Pruktayanon) is building a sharing circular economy platform that connects product producers, recyclers, and consumers. Imagine a product producer wishes to recycle its own packaging, Green2get platform sets up dedicated bins (Circular Bin at Petrol stations, 7/11 stores, and other convenient locations) for segregating the end of use packaging, the platform connects the closest recycler to collect and recycle the used packaging and supply the raw materials for making new packaging again. Green2get provides a digital platform to seamlessly connect those wishes to recycle with those who are processing recycling, making the informal sector more visible and lowering the cost of recycling, and improving the lives of the informal waste management sector. So far the Green2get Facebook, where you find detailed visual demonstrations showing how to segregate different kinds of plastic waste, has over 170,000 followers.

Trash Lucky (founded by Nat Atichartakarn) motivates consumers to mail or drop off their segregated waste (including plastics, paper, Aluminum cans, glass, and scrap metals) to its collection sites by offering the "Lucky Draw" where sponsors such as Coca Cola offers prizes as high as 1million baht (about 30K USD). It incentives members to provide segregated trash to Trash Lucky through a digital platform and the convenience of Recycle Box provided by Trash Lucky via returned mail. It sells the collected and sorted trash to recyclers. The profit of the sales plus sponsorship revenue provides prizes to its members.

CirPlas (founded by Thosaphol Suppametheekulwat) is a spin-off from Qualy, a 2nd generation SME based in Bangkok that specializes in designing and producing functional household items using recycled plastics and sold to over 50 countries worldwide. Its Managing Director, Thosaphol Suppametheekulwat (Nickname Thos) realized that there is increasing demand for products made from recycled plastics and sees the opportunity of growing the supply of recycled plastic materials. Having the know-how on recycling processes and product design, he needs to secure supply of plastic waste, that is why CirPlas is set up to become a plastics circularity platform for communities, office buildings, product producers, and even individual consumers. It plans to deploy an innovative business model by 1) collecting plastic wastes, 2) segregating and processing plastics, 3) producing recycled plastic materials, and 4) supplying to packaging manufacturers and designing & producing our own products. It aims to become a Plastics Circularity Platform for ASEAN region in the next two years by demonstrating how to close the plastic loop in Thailand and transfer its knowledge and know-how to at least 5 other ASEAN countries to eliminate plastics to landfill regionally and significantly reduce virgin materials extraction and processing to further SDGs.

Challenges remain for these businesses in plastic circularity. At the consumption site, in Thailand today, the cost of collection, segregation, and cleaning is mostly done manually.

This makes recycled plastic materials more expensive than virgin materials.

We observed start-ups today adopt a de-centralized model and operate on a small scale.

plastic waste at their consumption site. There are the critical drivers in a developing country like Thailand, who are the plastic ghostbusters in cleaning up our land and ocean.

45 views0 comments


bottom of page