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The mounting piles of garbage at the Grand Place in Bangkok, Thailand are challenging city's disposal facilities. With a donation of PTT MCC's BioPBS, the Thai corporation is attempting to help - and to show the merits of a bioplastic solution.

Karen Laird

November 28, 2016

2 Min Read
BioPBS food containers combat trash heaps at Thai royal palace

Weeks after the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away, mourning crowds have continued to flock to the royal palace to pay their last respects. Within days of the monarch’s death, however, it was already clear that this devotion had a price: daily, some 66 tons of garbage from food containers and drinking water bottles were being discarded by the mourners, all of which needed to be collected.

Steps were taken to set up garbage bins at ten strategic points across Sanam Luang and at the roads around the Grand Palace. Yet the trash continued to mount as many independent foundations provided on-site meals packed to the people in foamed polystyrene trays, generating additional quantities of plastic waste. 

In an attempt to address the issue, the Thai oil and gas giant PTT Public Company Limited, donated more than one million bio-degradable BioPBS coated paper food containers that were offered through the Volunteers for Dad Center, for distribution to the crowds around Sanam Luang. The BioPBS was supplied by PTT MCC Biochem, the 50/50 joint venture between PTT and Mitsubishi Chemical Company.

Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a biodegradable plastic that decomposes naturally - no composting facility needed - in soil into water and carbon dioxide, that can replace polyethylene. PBS is highly compatible with fibers -  it penetrates easily into pores and around fiber, yielding excellent adhesion to cup stock paper. Together with Its high heat resistance up to 100 C o, it is an ideal choice for coating applications, especially where thermal resistance is required. PTT MCC Biochem produces and sells bio-based PBS made from biosuccinic acid derived from natural resources and 1,4-butanediol. Products made from BioPBS, the brand name of the biobased PBS produced by PTT MCC can be disposed of along with organic waste.

BioPBs can be used for hot beverage cups, boxes, and utensils for freshly cooked food.  Its biodegradability mean that will degrade along with the paper within a few months at room temperature – helping to restore the area around the royal palace to its former state, as the official year of mourning continues.

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