Walailak University’s Sustainable Plastic Minimization Policy and Waste Management Practices
Walailak University has a policy on minimization of plastic use which is created in 2022 and reviewed in 2023. In 2022, the university emphasized the importance of environmental conservation, energy conservation, waste segregation, natural products utilization instead of plastic products, and the rejection of plastic bags. These efforts were aimed at reducing the incidence of pollution within the university and promoting its sustainability goals.
The university has methods to promote, disseminate, and instill awareness in the university population about responsible waste management practices that benefit themselves, the community, and the environment. These methods involve promoting behaviors for daily waste management by reducing waste consumption from the source, using items efficiently, avoiding excessive consumption, and adopting proper waste management principles.
These practices promote environmentally friendly behaviors within the university, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 12. These efforts encompass sustainable university production and consumption, minimizing waste and food waste throughout the supply chain, responsible management of waste and hazardous waste to reduce pollution harmful to humans and the environment, and waste reduction by using reduction, reuse, and recycle. The policy on minimization of plastic use follows these guidelines:
1. No free single-use plastic bags will be available to all store customers. However, for ready-to-eat cooked food, plastic bags made from 100% recycled materials, bioplastic bags, or paper bags can be available for customers for purchase as food containers.
2. No Styrofoam containers or compostable handle plastic bags will not be available at all stores.
3. All single-use plastic cups will be replaced with bio-plastic coated paper cups or washable and reusable ones at all stores.
4. Bring-your-own-cup discounts will be offered for all takeout beverage stores.
5. Single-use plastic spoons, forks and straws will not be provided by any store unless requested by customers.
All shops on campus, including flea market vendors, must strictly adhere to this waste management policy for the promotion of good health and green environment.
Furthermore, the university also manages waste in student dormitories. Currently, the university has 15 student dormitories, consisting of Laksananives’ Superior, Laksananives’ Deluxe, Laksananives’ Suite, and WU Residence, with a total capacity of accommodating 6,136 students. These dormitories may generate a significant amount of waste. Therefore, the trash bins have been placed at various locations in each dormitory and schedules waste collection based on the specific type of waste, disposing of them through different methods.
In addition, the university encourages waste reduction through various methods, such as using cloth bags, baskets, or reusable water bottles to reduce plastic product usage and avoid single-use disposable materials. Furthermore, the university organizes various activities to promote waste reduction on campus, such as the Students Activities Day Event. Additionally, there was an initiative to promote the use of cloth bags for medications at Walailak University Hospital. These activities promote environmental awareness and support reducing pollution while also encouraging the reuse of resources for maximum benefit, rather than simply disposing of them. In addition to reducing waste, these activities also help minimize resource consumption, making efficient use of resources and contributing to environmental conservation.
Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production