Well its 2020 and no more plastic bags, shoppers are being reminded to bring there own shopping bags in Thailand. Department stores, convenience stores with more than 24,500 branches nationwide have stopped handing out single use plastic bags.
Customers at big department stores are saying no to plastic bags. Above all due to their growing awareness about how harmful they are to the environment, especially marine life.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said his top priority is reducing the amount of single-use plastic bags in Thailand. The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has introduced a 20 year-action plan on plastic waste management from 2018-2037.
Which includes measures to stop Thais using seven plastic items and types.
They are cap seals, Oxo-degradable plastic, microbeads, plastic bags of less than 36 micron thickness. (Widely known as single-use plastic bags); polystyrene-made food containers, plastic cups and yes “plastic straws.”
Meanwhile, the Thai Food and Drug Administration has announced a ban on microbead use in all cosmetic products. The ban takes effective from as of Jan 1, 2020. Furthermore, the minister said a ban on plastic cups and straws will be imposed next year.
Plastic Manufacturers feeling the pinch
The campaign against single-use plastic bags is a nightmare scenario for their manufacturers. Who above all claim they stand to make huge losses as a result of the plastic ban.
The Thai Plastic Industry Association’s chairman Somchai Techapanichkul said the government campaign to stop using single-use plastic is two years ahead of schedule. Which will seriously hurt SMEs unable to make production adjustments. The original time frame was for the year 2022.
According to the association, there are around 500 plastic manufacturing plants nationwide. The plants also employ over 8,000 people. The ban will almost certainly mean job losses in their near future. The plastics ban will also damage the industry estimated at 30 billion baht per year.
“We don’t oppose the ban, but it should have been gradual. An immediate halt will completely destroy our business. Also we have not seen any government measures to help us cushion this blow,” Mr Somchai told the Bangkok Post.
he association submitted a letter to the ministry, demanding a rehabilitation scheme, including compensation for employees and firms.
Mr Somchai also fears the situation will get worse if the government bans plastic bag use in fresh markets owned by state-owned agencies by the year 2021. As they are major plastic bag industry customers.
Source: Bangkok Post