Containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW). Among these are over 3,000 million beverage cartons each year.
While the aluminium layer, currently used in beverage carton packages, plays a critical role in ensuring the freshness of the contents, it contributes to a third of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to base metals.
The private sector in Thailand has been cooperating in an effort to find a greener way for the industry. One such partnership, ‘Tetra Pak’ and ‘Eco Friendly Thai’, specifically recycles used beverage cartons with the aim of enhancing sustainability across the value chain, from sourcing and production to the end of the product’s life.
Being a large manufacturer of beverage cartons, Head of Sustainability of Tetra Pak Thailand said the company feels that it is their responsibility to manage the waste generated by their products.
Patinya Silsupadol, Head of Sustainability, Tetra Pak (Thailand) Limited said “One of the policies that we prioritise is creating a sustainable low-carbon circular economic system. For the whole procedure, it is necessary to take care of our used packaging by collecting the waste, which is from our products, to recycle.”
“Thai people are aware and are ready to support a low-carbon circular economy. They are able to sort and collect the waste. What we are lacking are the policies and support from the government on the basic structure (of recycling), he added”
In their experiment, fibre pulp was separated from the used beverage cartons. The pulp can be used as raw material in the manufacturing of corrugated boxes and tissue paper, while plastic and foil from the cartons can be used as raw materials to produce a wide variety of products.
According to Eco Friendly Thai, sorting the waste can really help the recycling procedure, reduce the cost and shorten the time.
Somyos Watapanich, Managing Director of Eco Friendly Thai Limited said “waste sorting is a vital part of the recycling procedure. For example, each kind of plastic has different properties and can be melted down at a different temperatures. So, sorting the waste will allow us to choose the right temperature for our recycled materials.”
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