One of the most seemingly unable to resolve problems is the plastic waste problem, especially in Saensuk City, Chon Buri, Thailand, where the plastic waste comes from the sea, the mass tourists, and the residents themselves. To manage this problem, the Saensuk municipality spends millions of Thai Baht every year. The money that can be used for a good education or better living standards.
Faculty of Informatics, Burapha University is responsible for digital technology and innovation development. To tackle this plastic problem, we then cooperate with the Environmental Department of Saensuk Municipality for starting a program called Bangsaen Plastic Hero Day where the Saensuk residents, including shop vendors, retirees, and school students, come together for plastic bottle caps recycling. This activity will take place every 2 months on the last Thursday of the month. The plastic bottle caps were chosen because they are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which will be heated and release less toxic gas in the recycling process. The symbol for this type of plastic is number 2 in the recycle triangle.
In the role of digital technology and innovation creator, the Digital Media and Interaction Research Lab (DMI) at Faculty of Informatics, Burapha University invented the SmartBin BUU and the Cap Sorting System. The SmartBin BUU functions based on the Object Detection technique where an Artificial Intelligence (AI) will recognize 6 types of solid waste, namely plastic bottle, glass bottle, can, plastic bag, plastic food container, and plastic coffee cup automatically. This system is equipped with a management platform where the responsible can monitor and empty the bin. People can also collect the points when using this SmartBin BUU via a Rewarding System. Furthermore, the Cap Sorting System is invented for tackle the plastic cap sorting. This system functions based on caps’ color detection. The Internet of Things (IoT) principle is used in combination with Object Detection technique. After sorting, the plastic bottle caps will be shredded using a shredding machine. Then they will be heated and extruded using the extruding machine. The heated plastic will be then shaped into different shapes according to the molds. In our activity, the plastic cactus pots were made in different sizes. The pot’s form is easy to make, and it needs less time.
In this kind of collaboration and development between the Burapha University and Saensuk Municipality, we hope to, at least, reduce and recycle the plastic waste problem in the Saensuk area. Furthermore, with this small contribution, we hope to be part of the SDG12 and part of the activities that tackle climate change as a whole.
Prajaks Jitngernmadan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Media and Interaction Research Lab (DMI) at Faculty of Informatics, Burapha University