Home / 2020 Sustainability Report / Caring for the Environment
Waste and Packaging Management and Circular Economy
As the role of packaging has evolved over the years, ThaiBev strives to reduce the amount of resources used to produce its packaging through the design and selection of environmentally friendly materials. It also considers the possibility of circulating them after consumption to reduce waste. This is especially the case with primary packagings such as glass, paper, aluminum cans, and PET bottles. Thai Beverage Recycle Co., Ltd. (TBR), a subsidiary of ThaiBev, is responsible for the collection of post-consumption packaging for reuse or recycling. ThaiBev also works with various stakeholders throughout its value chain, including tier 1 and non-tier 1 suppliers, small business owners, as well as consumers to manage and create value for post-consumption packaging via Circular Economy model.
Replacement Plastic Packaging in Food Delivery with Paper Packaging
OISHI Group has changed its packaging used in food delivery from single-use plastic to more environmentally friendly paper packaging. This led to a reduction of more than 8 tons of plastics.
Plastic Shrink Film made from Recycled Materials
ThaiBev has worked with a business partners to develop plastic shirnk film from recycled materials. This plastic film is used for wrapping packs of Crystal Drinking Water in all sizes. This plastic film is made of polyethylene (PE), with a 25% recycled component. The shrink film made using recycled PE has been used since May 2020. This innovation help to reduce plastic waste by 45 tons and reduce GHG emission by 53 tCO2e per year.
“Bring Back-Recycle”
TBR aims to promote post-consumption packaging management through engagement activities and encourage end users to participate in waste sorting so that recyclable packaging can be properly managed. TBR set out to find a sustainable solution and established the “Bring Back-Recycle” campaign encouraging ThaiBev employees to sort their trash. Under this campaign, recyclable packaging waste such as glass bottles, aluminum cans, and PET bottles are sold, and the earnings are donated to ThaiBev’s employees’ fund. Employees can follow up on the latest updates on the donations via "OK Recycle" application. The application systematically records recycling activities and relevant information. TBR also work closely with the Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment (TIPMSE) and encourage the use of this application in activities which are organized by governmental agencies.

Moreover, TBR has set out to encourage consumers to take part in waste sorting to ensure that recyclable post-consumption packaging is actually recycled. Hence, TBR reaches out to the general public by collaborating with external parties and attending public events such as
  • At the Holy Mass at the Supachalasai National Stadium which was presided over by Pope Francis, TBR together with Less Plastic Thailand had installed 40 PET bottles recycling stations all over the venue in order to encourage the 50,000 Catholics participants to participate in the campaign.
  • At the annual MTM Field Merchandise Seminar 2020, Modern Trade Management Co., Ltd. and TBR and installed recycling stations for aluminum cans and PET bottles. The 1,300 employees who attended the event were educated to properly discard these packagings after consumption by emptying the container, squeezing to reduce space and discarding them into the correct bin. At the end, over 75 kilograms of packaging waste had been retrieved (60 kilograms of cans and 15 kilograms of PET bottles).
  • At the Buriram Marathon 2020, which was held at the Chang International Circuit and Chang Arena in Buriram, waste sorting activities were organized and TBR installed stations to sort PET bottles with on-ground staff available to give instructions on how to properly discard the bottles by emptying the container, squeezing to reduce space and discarding them into the correct bin. A total of 61 kilograms were collected for recycle.
Bring Back Home Project
The project is a collaborative effort between ThaiBev and its agents, or distributors, to collect used glass bottles of beer and spirits. In this new take back model, the agents collect packaging from retail stores. These post-consumption packaging will then be retrieved back to TBR factories via backhauling. The project had been successfully initiated with one of ThaiBev’s agents in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, with plan in place to extend this model to other distributors throughout the country.
Products from rPET fiber
PET bottles can be upcycled to produce rPET (recycled PET) fiber, a value-added recycling method. In 2020, over 7.6 million PET bottles were retrieved by TBR and sent to an rPET fiber manufacturer to make, for the first time, 200,000 rPET blankets to be donated under the campaign “ThaiBev… Unites to Fight the Cold”. The production of rPET fiber uses 94% less water and 60% less energy than the typical production of polyester fiber. This results in a 32% reduction of GHG emissions or 7 tCO2e compared to the traditional production of 200,000 blankets.
Commitments and Achievements
ThaiBev places great importance on innovations and product design, including the return of post-consumption packaging into production processes, with targets set to to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
1. Reduce Packaging Weight and Volume
ThaiBev collaborates with business partners to develop packaging using fewer natural resources. Examples include reducing the weight of aluminum cans and the weight of plastic PET water bottles. ThaiBev have also recently implemented the technique called Narrow Neck Press and Blow (NNPB) in production of Hongthong spirits in 700 ml size. This collaborative effort between ThaiBev and its business partners has been in development since 2019 with the aim to reduce energy usage and minimize natural resource consumption.
2. Collection and Sorting
Sorting of different types of packaging and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. TBR is responsible for the postconsumption collection and sorting process. TBR buys all types of ThaiBev packaging materials such as glass bottles, cans, plastic bottles, PET bottles, cardboard boxes, etc.
3. Reuse and Recycle
Packaging materials discarded after consumption can be collected and used as raw materials for manufacturing new products. TBR retrieves post-consumption packaging and sends it directly to packaging manufacturers or recyclers. TBR also manages kitchen utensils and POP (point-of-purchase)/POS (point-of-sales) materials from ThaiBev’s restaurants that had gone obsolete or malfunctioned. These items are repaired or refurbished so that they can be utilized again.
4. Innovation and Product Design for Sustainable Packaging
ThaiBev has been continuously working with stakeholders to develop sustainable packaging, including packaging made from recycled components. ThaiBev established BevTech Co., Ltd. (BevTech) as a Research and Development center with one of the branches being Packaging Business in order to develop sustainable packaging innovations and alternatives. BevTech has been researching on machines and robotics to facilitate the use of automation in ThaiBev’s production facilities. BevTech’s major achievement in recent years is the implementation of an automated bottle sorting conveyor belt (for more information click here) and introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) bottle sorting technology to the system through collaboration with CMKL university. The solution optimized ThaiBev’s bottle sorting processes by reducing human error, reusable packaging losses, and overall operating costs. (see page 66 in SR2019)