Ho Chi Minh City
TONTOTON's Upcycle Centre is a first-of-its-kind in Cambodia transforming conventionally non-recyclable materials with a heat press method, creating novel plastic items that can be used in construction, primarily supporting housing materials for the informal waste sector and communities which collect the plastic.
TONTOTON audits the plastic types which arrive at our Community & Environment Centre. We found that almost a quarter of plastic comprised of flexible plastic packaging and wrapping, post consumer items. Together with PET bottles and Styrofoam, we have identified that the majority of mismanaged waste is associated with households. We have now been able to utilize this information to design a village collection project which stops this leakage at the source as well as encourages reduced consumption of these materials.
We have found that sorting of waste at a household level, along with awareness training, is an effective technique for reducing discarded plastic at the source. Increased knowledge about environmental threats are assumed to change environmental attitudes, and subsequently influence behavior change, presumably reducing irresponsible human practices. While the commercial market focuses on value plastics recycling e.g., PET bottles, non-recyclable plastic waste remains untouched and therefore creates an imbalance in the plastic waste management system. Our new Repurpose & Recycling facility in Cambodia is a unique solution where plastic waste is delivered by our waste pickers and in-house logistics team to a 1,600 sqm materials recovery facility (MRF) with a capacity of 20-30 tons a day. Plastics will be sorted depending on polymer type: LDPE; PP, HDPE, and other recyclable materials are shredded, melted and reformed to create products while non-processable plastic is sent to energy recovery through co-processing in cement factory, providing a circular solution. Corporations will also be able to use certified OBP recycled materials in their products and take accountability for the collection and recycling of ALL types of plastic waste.