Find sustainable solutions for waste plastic

Juam Dam located in Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do is a multi-purpose dam with a storage capacity of 707 million tons. The dam is a major source of drinking water for Gwangju·Jeollanam-do, and also supplies industrial water to the Yeosu National Industrial Complex and Gwangyang National industrial Complex. Therefore, it is important to keep the upper region of the dam from getting polluted by waste including plastic and manage water quality. Releasing water without removing waste can be a problem. More importantly, if waste is not treated early enough, it can sink in the water, compromising the water quality.
As part of efforts to keep drinking water clean, K-water has worked with Suncheon-si, local residents, and environmental and consumer groups to find sustainable solutions to waste plastic. As a result, together they launched the ‘Upcycling System Creation Program for Solving Plastic Pollution in the Upper Region of Juam Dam.’
The purpose of the project is to respond to climate crisis by reducing waste plastic and to create a benchmark business model in which local community, local residents and the Juam Dam branch of K-water work together to achieve carbon neutrality by operating an upcycling platform using waste plastic. Furthermore, the project also aims to create a business model for shared growth with local community using waste plastic and contribute to income growth for local residents.

Contribute to income growth by upcycling waste plastic

K-water has worked with local communities on this project. The project focuses on educating people on the right ways to recycle resources through a campaign, providing people first-hand experiences of collecting and classifying waste, while developing and displaying upcycled products. As a long-term project, K-water will develop technology to upcycle different kinds of waste plastic and help local residents supplement their income.
Firstly, K-water launched a project aimed at reducing waste plastic thrown away in the upper region of Juam Dam and upcycle waste plastic. It also carried out an environmental campaign to raise local residents’ awareness of the importance of carbon neutrality and to educate them on how to collect waste and recycle resources. All these efforts helped reduce pollutants in the upper region of the dam and create a healthy recycling culture in local communities around the dam.
K-water and locally-based artists created works of art using waste plastic, which were displayed in different venues across the region, and is currently working with a plastic forge to produce·sell upcycled products.
It will continue to collect waste plastic in the upper region of the dam, and sort out and wash them to create a virtuous cycle. In addition, it will establish a social enterprise with the aim of improving the quality of upcycled products and contributing to income growth for local residents.