Single-Use Plastic Waste Reduction Policy at Walailak University

Single-Use Plastic Waste Reduction Policy at Walailak University

Walailak University has a “Walailak Go Green” or green university policy so that students, staff, and the general public know the importance of environmental conservation, including energy conservation, waste separation, refraining from using plastic bags, using natural products, and electric shutter car campaign in order to reduce the accident rate and pollution in the university. Such projects will drive WU towards the goal of being a green university of happiness.

The green university project is an agency established following the strategy of strengthening WU to be a leading green university in the country to aim to be a sustainable university. In 2021, WU was successful in its processes as follows:

  1. As joining the UNEP’s The Little Book of Green Nudges in 2021, WU was selected as one of the five pilot universities in the country participating in the project. WU encourages environmentally friendly behavior on campus, linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production: Efficient and sustainable management and use of natural resources (12.2), Reducing food waste (12.3), Reducing the release of toxic chemicals and waste into nature and managing them properly (12.4), Waste reduction through reuse and recycle processes (12.5), and Raising awareness of sustainable development in society (12.8). 
  2. WU participated in the UI Green Metric World University Ranking in 2016. By 2020 and 2021, it has been ranked as the number 1 green university in the South for two consecutive years.

WU has policies, guidelines, and waste management plans to minimize the waste that must be sent to landfills. In addition, in 2022, WU reviewed those previous policies and then the announcement titled “Single-Use Plastic Waste Reduction Policy” was created as follows:

  1. All shops are obliged to stop distributing free single-use plastic bags to customers, except for carrying cooked and ready-to-eat food. On the other hand, all shops shall distribute plastic bags made from 100% recycled materials, bioplastic bags, or paper bags.
  2. All Shops are obliged to stop using Styrofoam containers and compostable plastic bags. 
  3. Shops in the cafeteria must switch from single-use plastic cups to bio-plastic coated paper cups or washable and reusable cups and give a discount for a drink for those who bring their glass.
  4. All Shops are obliged to give away disposable plastic cutlery and straws to shoppers unless requested by customers.
  5. Shops in the education area, including flea markets, must strictly adhere to the announcement for good health and a good environment. 
  6. All departments in the university cooperatively reduce the use of all types of single-use plastics.
  7. Elimination of single-use plastic use needs the cooperation of stakeholders and students.

Additionally, WU also operates on the Green Dormitory practice of waste management. Currently, the university has 13 dormitories and WU Residence dormitories that can accommodate up to 1,280 students, which may increase the amount of waste. Every dormitory will have separate bins because each type of waste has different disposal methods. Center of Property Management organizes the “Giving Love-s” campaign to instill awareness among students and WU personnel to share and help others, which consists of the following projects:

  • WU donated used papers to the “Page 3: For the Invisible Friends” project of the Foundation for the Blind of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King.
  • WU donated used papers to make a notebook for the children in the “Revive the Paper” project of the Volunteerspirit Network, Thailand Rural Reconstruction Movement, under the Royal Patronage.
  • WU donated cloth bags to the “Bring a cloth bag – to get med – Refraining the plastic bag using – to help reduce global warming and waste problems” project of Walailak University Hospital.

The cooperation of all departments at Walailak University drives to minimize the generation of plastic waste by campaigning to invite students, staff, and the general public to use cloth bags instead of single-use plastic bags. Also, WU campaign to use tiffin carriers instead of foam boxes and recycle plastic bottles to save the world.

WU also supports the project to increase the efficiency of waste and hazardous waste management systems to become the Green WU by organizing the “ECO-BLOCK” workshop and a discussion activity to exchange learning experiences on waste management from the perspective of private entrepreneurs who turn hard-to-decompose waste into Eco-Concrete product. In addition, E2C Samui Group builds a school passenger pavilion, a case study on household waste management and waste in commercial use. Online training participants from various sectors in this activity, including WU personnel and students, representatives of Village Health Volunteer from Phum Riang Subdistrict Health Promotion Hospital, representatives from Phum Riang Subdistrict Municipality, Chaiya District, Surat Thani Province, representatives from Koh Thuat Subdistrict Municipality, Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, students and teachers from Bhavana Bodhigun Vocational College Koh Samui District Surat Thani Province, and the general public interested in participating in the activity.

WU is ready to support and provide various activities and opportunities for all students and staff to implement policies to become a green and sustainable university.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production