Thai university makes bulletproof vests from recycled plastic

Photo via Naewna

Scientists at Naresuan University in northern Thailand made bulletproof vests out of recycled plastic waste which they donated to the soldiers of Royal Thai Army Area 3 in Phitsanulok province on Monday. The vests are made from a mixture of car headlight parts, dialysis bags, rubber shoes, and plastic from the sea.

The bulletproof vests were created under the project “Social Innovation from Plastic Waste from Communities in lower northern Thailand,” funded by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and implemented by Associate Professor Dr Panida Jongsuksomsakul, reports Naewna.

On Monday, Vice President of Research Development and Innovation at Naresuan University Professor Karnkanok Inkaninan delivered the bulletproof at the Army Entertainment Club at the King Naresuan Maharat army barracks in Phitsanulok province.

Soldiers tested out the effectiveness of the vests by shooting .9mm and .11mm calibre firearms at the vests from a distance of seven metres, 10 metres, 15 metres and 25 metres. No bullets penetrated through the vests.

The research term said they had the innovative idea to recycle plastic waste into something that can create income and benefit the community as well as the environment.

Not only do the vests help tackle Thailand’s plastic waste problem, but they are cheaper than bulletproof vests currently on the market. The cost of production is just over 10,000 baht. Whereas, bulletproof vests imported to Thailand from abroad would be three to five times more expensive.

General Prasan Saengsirirak, Deputy Commander of Army Region 3, praised the NRCT and researchers at Naresuan University for foreseeing the importance of this research which benefits Thailand’s troops.

Soldiers will wear the vests when entering dangerous areas near the border, said General Prasat. The vests are lightweight, cost-effective and provide protection from short-barreled pistols. Also, the vests are accessible since they are made out of waste, which is in abundance.

The bulletproof vests will pave the way for more plastic-waste-based innovation in the future.

Environment News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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