Existing production and consumption patterns in Southeast Asian countries are based on a largely linear raw materials economy in which plastic materials are poorly managed and disposed as waste after a short period of use. The widespread use of single-use plastic (SUP) contributes significantly to the entry into and pollution of water and sea. Low raw material prices, counterproductive incentive systems, a lack of awareness and a lack of alternatives are main reasons for the rapidly growing amount of disposable SUP.
Existing voluntary initiatives by industry, trade and services to reduce and properly collect and recycle packaging materials have been limited in their overall impact. Waste management and the related recycling industry are underperforming to solve the problem. Also, SUP prevention business models, such as product service systems (e.g. Cup-as-a-Service), alternative materials (e.g. sea weed based food container) or product stewardship (e.g. deposit refund system) are often niche products with low potential for upscaling, mainly due to market-failures.
However, experiences from other countries show that for scale effects to work in in SUP prevention, such business models need to be embedded in a conducive regulatory framework. Therefore both industry initiatives and SUP prevention business models require strategic government support.
Thailand has recognized that the introduction of circular economy (CE) principles in production and trade along the waste hierarchy (i.e. reduce, reuse, recycle) can be an essential solution and that regulatory and more targeted intervention at local level and cooperation with the private sector are critical to prevent SUP and to prepare the plastic economy for circularity.
From the legislative view-point, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has been mandated by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) to develop the Circular Economy Pillar of the Bio-Circular and Green economic development strategy of Thailand. One of its workstreams is the development of a circular plastic economy, aligned with the Pollution Control Department’s (PCD) plastic road map and action plan that plans to phase out specific SUP products (e.g. bag, straws, cutlery, cups, etc.) and drastically reduce plastic waste. This is also reflected in the ‘up-stream’ part of the ongoing revision of PCD’s waste management strategy, which calls for substituting SUP products through durable, better repairable and environmentally friendlier alternatives; promotion of the recycled market or business models that encourage plastic recycling or reuse following the concept of circular economy; and public-private partnerships that address the issue of single use plastic and jointly develop solutions.
From a private perspective, the government’s regulatory measures open opportunities for new innovative business models. For example, a ban on specific SUP products (e.g. plastic cups) contributes to the viability of Cup-as-a-Service business models that are currently emerging in various countries. Other government measures incentives, such as favoring packaging-free solutions in public procurement, reducing barriers and stimulating post-consumer recycling content in products are translates into supporting a coherent SUP prevention policy.
This project contributes to the reduction of SUP and prepare for re-use of the plastic material stream by developing the government’s capacity to advance the plastic economy framework:
At national level participating government agencies and private actors are NSTDA, PCD, the Thai Industry Standard Institute and the Federation of Thai Industry. The project’s secretariat is run by the Thai Environmental Institute (TEI) and international expertise is provided by the German Öko-Institute.
At local level the project supports the Phuket municipality to pilot SUP prevention, comprising the development of a (7) municipal SUP reduction plan, (8) SUP free wet-market/walking street, (9) accommodation industry and (10) malls. Private partners are identified for cooperation. The pilot will provide proof-of-concept and prepares for scaling by developing (11) guidelines for SUP plans, wet-markets, accommodation industry and malls.
The project component is part of a global project headquartered in Germany. The regional headquarters for South East Asia will be in Bangkok, with similar projects in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The project coordinator Thailand is responsible for:
The Project Coordinator Thailand for CAP SEA performs the following tasks:
1. Pilot Project Implementation
The project coordinator
The project coordinator
Other related tasks
The project coordinator
B. Required qualifications, competences and experience
This will be a fixed-term contract, starting as soon as possible and running until March 2023 with possible prolongation.
Please submit your application and CV to APPLY NOW The deadline for applications is May 15, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
With your application please also provide a 2-page short essay on any one of the 2 topics below:
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