Suez aims to recycle plastics
New plant a model for handling waste
Paris-based Suez Group expects its plastic recycling plant to create a new model for waste management in Thailand, helping the government attain its goal of recycling all plastic waste by 2030.
Its recycling plant in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district near Bangkok, currently taking part in a trial run, is scheduled to open tomorrow.
“In Thailand, 2 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated each year, but only a quarter of that amount is recycled,” said Jerome Borgne, managing director of Suez Services Thailand, the plant’s operator.
The company not only deals with waste disposal here, but also wants to be part of efforts to help keep the oceans free of plastic garbage.
According to Suez, 40% of global plastic waste ends up in the environment, with up to 11 million tonnes leaked to the oceans in 2016. That volume is projected to rise to 29 million tonnes by 2040.
The garbage found along Thai coastlines is made up of 16% plastic bags, 10% plastic bottle caps and 7% straws.
Food delivery services are rapidly growing, causing more concern over mounting plastic waste, which is expected to increase by 10-20% annually.
The drop in global oil prices has made the prices of recycled plastic less competitive than those of virgin polymers. This affects the recycling business, said Suez Group.
The company’s plant in Bang Phli is Suez’s first plastic recycling project in Asia. The facility is equipped with an advanced water treatment system that helps minimise water usage and ensure the surrounding environment will not be affected.
Part of the energy used by the plant will be generated by rooftop solar panels under the firm’s move to promote clean fuel.
The plant is designed to turn scrap plastic into circular polymers. It has an annual capacity to convert 30,000 tonnes of polyethylene film waste into high-quality secondary materials for the plastic processing industry.
Plastic bottles, also known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), will be recycled first before the firm expands its operation to cover other types of plastic waste.
“Thailand is a big plastic manufacturing country, exporting plastic products to Europe. These products must follow European regulations on recycling and environmental care,” said Mr Borgne.
One of the new European regulations is to recycle 25% of PET rubbish by 2025.
Suez Group also operates an 8.63-megawatt waste-to-power generation plant in Chon Buri. It is a joint venture, co-invested by SET-listed WHA Utilities & Power and Global Power Synergy Plc.