RISC, MQDC, GC, Carpet Maker team up to organize UPCYCLING FOR A BETTER WORLD 2019

Presented by Upcycling For A Better World 2019

“Sustainnovation” provides the core upcycling vision

  • In a world debut, beautiful and practical hand-woven carpets made from discarded plastic bottles from the sea will be displayed among other upcycled items for daily use.
  • UPCYCLING FOR A BETTER WORLD 2019 is now showcasing numerous upcycling design projects, developments, and innovations that turn discarded materials into valuable products with various household uses.
  • The event is on 13–19 September this year at the Helix Garden, 5th floor of the EmQuartier, Bangkok. 

 13 September 2019, Bangkok – Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC) and Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC) join hands with PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC) and partners from various sectors to organize the press conference and opening of UPCYCLING FOR A BETTER WORLD 2019, a spectacular showcase of upcycling design projects, developments, and innovations destined to transform unwanted materials into valuable items fit for everyday household use.

As an organizing partner, MQDC is committed to creating and developing innovative ideas through collaborations within and outside Thailand – all under the vision of Sustainovation. This involves searching for innovative ideas for sustainability at every MQDC property development, taking into account everything from construction efficiency to eliminate waste and the ongoing use of resources in accordance with the circular economy. Like MQDC, GC has adapted the concept of the circular economy to encourage all sectors to embrace GC Circular Living.

Upcycling projects on display at the show include the world debut of hand-woven carpets made from discarded plastic bottles from the sea. Additionally, there will be a seminar on “Upcycling for a Better World” with speakers from all sectors that play an important role in driving the upcycling trend, from waste management and environmental conservation to the promotion of the real-world use of upcycled products. These are led by Mr. Visit Malaisirirat, CEO of Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Singh Intrachooto, Chief Adviser of Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC); Ms. Warawan Tippawanich, Senior Vice President – Corporate Affairs, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC);            Mr. Soonthorn Kraitrakul, President and Owner of Carpet Maker (Thailand) Co., Ltd.; and Mr. Alex Rendell, a representative from Environmental Education Centre Thailand (EEC Thailand).

“From the inception of the company, MQDC has had a strong commitment to doing business under the concept of ‘For All Well-being’. We know that the construction of a building requires a massive amount of resources, and at the same time produces a large quantity of waste,” said Mr. Visit Malaisirirat, CEO of Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC).

“For years, we have been trying to find more sophisticated models of building that allow for waste reduction in every project without compromising our quality excellence. Finally, after learning more about upcycling from a research team at RISC, MQDC started to work with partners to develop innovative upcycled materials for different uses in our projects. Some of them are paving blocks and road paving slabs, which are made from discarded plastics and with a weight-bearing capacity and durability equivalent to that of today’s typical paving bricks or blocks. It is the first time in Thailand for the property development sector to employ upcycled materials in construction projects. Also, we are in the process of expanding the use of upcycled plastics as a component in other building materials. This is an exciting new chapter for the construction industry, and we believe it will help the industry grow while helping create a better environment.

“We are collaborating with upcycling partners to transform used materials into a component in both interior and exterior building materials, including wall and roof systems, furnishings, paving blocks and slabs, and decorative materials for the project’s green areas. We will continue to do our best to achieve the goal of building a circular economy, seeking ways of retaining the value of used materials and products by reusing or upgrading them for other productive applications,” said the CEO.

“Today, all of us know well that millions of tons of garbage are exponentially dumped on earth and these cannot be fully managed,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Singh Intrachooto, Chief Adviser of Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC), one of the event’s organizing partners. “As a research agency focusing on sustainable development and environmental preservation, RISC has a dedicated team of specialist researchers ready to share knowledge on this matter. Therefore, we are partnering to invent and develop guidelines and more effective methods for waste handling through innovations and technologies to minimize waste and create value from discarded materials in various forms.

“At RISC, we are researching how to apply the upcycling process in product design and development as well as value creation. As a result, upcycled objects we have created and developed are as attractive and beautiful as newly manufactured products, and most importantly, they can be truly used in everyday life. We have some upcycled projects and innovations on display at this event. Among other items, there is the world debut of hand-woven carpets made from discarded plastic bottles from the sea. It is just a beginning as part of the upcycling movement, and RISC still needs the collaboration from various agencies and organizations to further develop for commercial purposes. I believe a concerted effort from all parties, in their areas of specialization and expertise, can change the world.”

Ms. Warawan Tippawanich, Senior Vice President – Corporate Affairs, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC), said: “We do business in accordance with the circular economy and always attach importance to the most effective use of resources and creating greater awareness of natural and environmental conservation, a sense of responsibility in which all of us share. We also value appropriate garbage sorting as an essential factor for successful waste management, which will pave the way for moving the world forward in a sustainable way.”

She continued, “We are making good progress with many of our upcycling projects. For example, tangible results can be achieved in Upcycling the Oceans – Thailand, in which we collect plastic waste from the sea and beaches before transforming it into fashion products such as T-shirts and bags. ThinkCycle Bank seeks to share practical knowledge and create better understanding of appropriate waste handling among children and youths. PPP Rayong is to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors in waste management.

“Partnering with RISC and MQDC is an important next step for GC as we enter into the property development field. Upcycled materials will be used extensively, and these will help inspire people and awaken society with outstanding qualities like durability, strength, and eco-friendliness. Additionally, we have initiated the Upcycling Plastic Waste project to transform discarded plastics into value-added materials, thus giving new life to waste. Our main responsibility in this project is to co-develop upcycled materials for home decoration and building construction: for instance, upcycled carpets made from recycled fabrics from PET, concrete edging blocks for curbs and walkways, and landscape elements from plastic waste, used concrete, and engineered wood.”

Mr. Soonthorn Kraitrakul, President and Owner of Carpet Maker (Thailand) Co., Ltd., as an upcycling partner, explained: “Carpet Maker supplies premium-quality carpets to leading companies worldwide and high-end fashion brands in Europe, as well as very exclusive customers like palaces, super yachts, and private jets. Personally, I have a passion for handicrafts and meticulous craftwork from Thailand’s northeastern villages. Therefore, I decided to open a world-class carpet factory in Banphai District, Khon Kaen, with an aim to create jobs for local villagers, and help them to live with their families and take care of their aging parents.

“I see today’s plastic waste has become an increasingly serious problem and has an adverse effect on human well-being. It becomes closer and closer to us every day. It seems that most people are paying attention to this issue, but only a few take action to solve it. After a discussion with Dr. Singh, RISC saw an opportunity for me to take part in solving the environmental problem. I like the word UPCYCLING. It is different from RECYCLE because it turns a problem into a value-added object. For this reason, Carpet Maker has developed a hand-woven carpet collection made of fabrics from discarded

plastics from the sea. The qualities of these carpets are superior to others in the market: for example, they are stain proof, impressively resistant to fungi, soft and easy to care for, and in compliance with the globally recognized ASTM D2859 flammability standard.

“We have combined our carpet-weaving technique, which has been developed and used for more than 30 years, with leading contemporary design to make this upcycled carpet collection luxuriously beautiful but outstandingly functional. It is suitable for many occasions and places, and definitely helps reduce plastic waste in the sea. Once introduced, the collection will be a favorite choice for conscious consumers who are looking for household items that truly reflect the need for environmental preservation.”

For more information about the collection, visit www.thecarpetmaker.com

Mr. Alex Rendell, a famous actor with a heart for the environment and the founder of Environmental Education Centre Thailand (EEC Thailand), said: “Thailand is facing many environmental issues, from air pollution to frequently occurring garbage problems and so on. And currently the spotlight is on sea garbage, which has become a big challenge for the country’s preservation efforts. Thailand is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for generating sea waste. Most of these are single-use plastics that inevitably endanger the lives of sea animals. This situation signals the ongoing destruction of ecosystems by humans, and as a result, gives us the urge to preserve and protect them in the long run rather than taking short-term actions.”

He continued, “When going out for an EEC field trip, we carried out a variety of activities. One of these was to go snorkeling with children. While enjoying the underwater beauty, we were often struck by a lot of sea waste almost everywhere. This made me sit and think about how to deal with that problem. For me, it is quite difficult and challenging.

“During an EEC field trip, we bring children to explore the beauty of nature and get firsthand experience rather than learning from a picture. It is because I always believe that real-world education and experience can give children a passion for what they are learning. And with a passion and understanding, then they will be increasingly willing to protect it. So, we need to educate them and give them a better understanding of the pros and cons of each type of waste. For example, plastics are not always the main culprit. Sometimes they have a lot of benefits in our daily life and even for the medical and healthcare industry, if we manage them in a proper and sustainable way. Most of all, it is not an individual’s problem or an organizational issue. It involves everyone taking part and caring for the environment in an efficient manner – for a better world good for living in,” said Mr. Rendell.