MTEC-NSTDA and the Department of Primary Industries and Mines (DPIM) hosted a seminar on CE Design Solution in Practice on 22 November 2022. The seminar showcased the success of the Design for Circular Economy Project aiming at educating and facilitating Thai industries to adopt the circular thinking which will in turn enable the country to achieve carbon neutrality and net zero emission goals.
MTEC Executive Director Dr. Julathep Kajornchaiyakul stated that the seminar is part of the Design for Circular Economy Project that has been funded by DPIM. The project has organized a comprehensive training workshop and provided in-depth consultation to selected enterprises to build up their capacity in circular economy (CE) design. The scope of CE design encompasses the product development and improvement, manufacturing process, material selection and end-of-life management. In addition, MTEC also developed “CE Design Solution” serving as a model for other firms to apply.
Dr. Teerawut Tunnukij, Director of Innovation in Raw Materials and Primary Industries Division, DPIM said that the linear economy and the popularity of products with short lifespan have depleted resources and generated large quantities of waste. Although recycling has been widely adopted as part of waste management, this action is at the lower end of waste management hierarchy and requires considerable amount of energy and investment. Rethinking and redesigning is therefore a preferred approach to drive a circular economy to achieve sustainable production and consumption.
As the main agency responsible for managing and supplying both primary and secondary raw materials to industries, DPIM initiated the Design for Circular Economy Project, which has been implemented by MTEC, to educate enterprises on the principle of circular economy and encourage the adoption of circular design to enable Thailand to achieve carbon neutrality goal by 2050 and net zero greenhouse gas emission goal by 2065.
Based on the data of six participating enterprises, this project has a potential to add at least THB 60 million/year to the Thai economy and cut back emissions by at least 6,000 tons carbon dioxide equivalent/year, not to mention making positive impacts to the environment and society.
Dr. Nudjarin Ramungul, MTEC Research Specialist and leader of this project noted that the success of this project is attributed to the determination and commitment of six participating enterprises: Deesawat Industries, The Peace Canning (1958), Mae Fah Luang Foundation, Siegwerk (Thailand), B.H. Plastic, and Thai Polyethylene (TPE). Circular design can be challenging at first as people are trapped in the linear economy. But once adopted, the circular and systems thinking can create additional value to businesses. However, the circular economy cannot exist in one single business, it requires collaboration in the form of value network to elevate the entire value and supply chains to the next level.