MAGNOLIA Quality Development Corporation Ltd (MQDC) plans to spend Bt6 billion over the next 10 years on the research and development (R&D) of innovative products and for the upcycling of waste for use in building construction, chief executive officer Visit Malaisirirat said yesterday.
The company yesterday also announced its collaboration with PTT Global Chemical Plc (GC) to develop upcycled building materials from plastic waste. The materials will be in the construction of MQDC’s residential projects that are planned for this year and the next, he said.
Visit said that its Forestias project is the first to use the upcycled plastic waste. It has gone into the construction of a 5-kilometre network of footpaths that will take at least 160 tonnes of the plastic waste. The plastic is being provided by GC, which collects it from the sea.
Later, the company’s Research & Innovation for Sustainability Centre (RISC) will carry out research and development into the use of other such materials for infrastructure needs at its projects, Visit said.
MQDC plans to launch five residential projects in the second half of this year. The Bt90 billion Forestias project was launched in the first half of this year. The pace of launches marks a reduction from an earlier estimate of 10 residential project launches this year. The developer took a more conservative stance after seeing that demand in the first of this year was stable in comparison with the same period of last year, Visit said
“Apart from the new projects to be launched this year, we will use upcycled plastic waste in all of the new projects launches for next year,” he said.
RISC’s chief adviser, Assoc Prof Dr Singh Intrachooto, said that RISC is working with Kasetsart University and the Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi on the research and development of construction products from upcycled plastic waste to be used in buildings developed by MQDC.
“This is the first time that a Thai property firm is using upcycled plastic waste to build its construction projects. This will help the country to reduce plastic waste and move it to zero-waste status in the future,” Singh said.
According to the Natural Resources and Environment Department, Thailand has generates about two million tonnes of plastic waste year over the past decade. Of that amount, just half a tonne annually has been reused or recycled. Thailand is ranked the world’s sixth-biggest contributor to plastic pollution in the oceans among 192 countries, the department said. The 23 coastal provinces generate an estimated 11.47 million tonnes of waste daily.
GC’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, Warawan Tippawanich, said that the company works with communities around its plant in Rayong province to collect plastic waste, which will be provided to MQDC. The company is also collaborating with others firms to promote the use of recycled and upcycled plastic waste as part of efforts to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the country.