Circular Economy Introduction and Plastic Waste Situation in Thailand

Circular Economy Introduction and Plastic Waste Situation in Thailand

On April 26, to over 70 Members, AMCHAM’s Sustainability and Plastics Committee held a video conference titled Circular Economy Introduction and Plastic Waste Situation in Thailand. AMCHAM Board Governor Jeff Lehrman introduced the speakers: Richard Jones, Senior Vice President, Indorama Ventures; Chris Oesterich, Founder, Linear to Circular; and Kongsak Dokbua, Vice President, Plastics Institute of Thailand.

Richard started off the event by giving a basic definition and understanding of what is a circular economy and how it’s being implemented throughout the world today. He gave examples of efforts being made throughout the Kingdom and recycling activities being pursued by Indorama. He emphasized the importance of considering all aspects of creating a circular economy as humans tend to answer problems with the best intentions but little foresight. “To make a circular economy and better environment, we cannot make quick assumptions,” Richard stated.

Chris echoed this sentiment in his presentation, as he compared creating a perfect circular economy to car parts; cars need many pieces in order to work properly. He spoke on the significance of considering options down to the minutest detail to ensure a true circular economy. He touched on the Cynefin Framework and how utilizing this can help with working towards a common desired outcome.

Kongsak presented last and he spoke on the Thai government’s current and future efforts to deal with the plastic waste situation in the Kingdom. Thailand has set up programs to help minimize plastic waste and encourage recycling. He said that they hope to educate citizens on how to recycle and how vital it is to accomplish this soon. Kongsak shared results from the Material Flow Analysis conducted in 2019. Thailand has 12 target products that if properly recycled, could help reduce millions of tons of waste.

The session ended with a lively question-and-answer session with members inquiring about laws pertaining to waste disposal and best practices that companies were already implementing in their organizations. A video and all of the presentations for this event are available on the AMCHAM Member Portal.

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