Ong Yong Qing
Plastic Trash to Classic Cash

Thesis Supervisor: Tomohisa Miyauchi

Site: Jenjarom, Malaysia

After China’s National Sword Policy in 2017, the global waste trade was disrupted as many developed nations begun to find alternatives for their waste exports. Nations like Malaysia became one of the prime candidates for these illegal waste imports. Jenjarom, Malaysia, is a victim to 190,000 tons of plastic waste imports with no where to go.


Looking through the lens of “Environmentalism of the Rich”, this thesis investigates the capitalization of the environment to generate profits to incentivize the collaboration between the Malaysian government and private firms, which in turn helps to resolve the plastic environmental crisis. This thesis also explores the transformation of our perception towards plastic waste, from an unwanted object of disgust into a valuable resource,

and to represent them architecturally.


Utilizing Langat River, that runs alongside Jenjarom, as an efficient means of transport is one of the key strategies of the thesis. The river carries the plastic waste through the different areas to undergo its transformation into valuable resources. Each area celebrates the plastic and its transformation process, in an attempt to change people’s perception.


Ultimately, this thesis is a mix of speculation and realism, to look into the possibilities of capitalizing on mother nature to indirectly save it and to see what does it take to reverse the perception on plastic waste through the use of architectural intervention.

on the Environment

Using the profits generated to create enough incentives to save the environment

Waste Trade

Illegal plastic waste trade is inproportionately affecting developing nations.

of the Rich

The rich is better capable and aware of environmental efforts. The world is also moving towards an environmentalism that is focused on profits.


Turning the vast amounts of plastic waste generated into valuable resources, in turn resolving the environmental issue caused by plastic.


Dumping Bridge

Dumping of plastic into the river, celebrating it like a waterfall.

Shredding Park

The shredding process becomes a spectacle to be explored in the park.

Melting Pools

Heat generated from the melting of plastic is redirected to public baths, while fishing businesses are relocated here.

Processing Towers

The final transformation of plastic occurs here,  where the typical hierarchy of plastic waste is reversed.