Policy clash puts brakes on no-plastic project
PHUKET: Phuket’s policy aimed at getting rid of plastic bags has been scuppered for the time being, partly by another campaign – to control ugly billboards.
Wednesday 29 February 2012, 01:00PM
The start of the no-plastic-bags project has been indefinitely postponed after some major retailers failed at the last minute to confirm they would join the launch ceremony on Monday (February 27), citing concerns that public awareness is not yet high enough to make the campaign a success.
Major retailer all signed a memorandum of understanding with Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, on December 5 last year, pledging to join the campaign to get rid of plastic bags.
The government organised another meeting for Monday at Provincial Hall at which the project was to be launched and at which retailers would sign up officially.
Jirasak Thammawate chief of the Phuket Energy Office (PEO) told The Phuket News yesterday, “We had to postpone it. The provincial government sent a note asking everyone to confirm they would be at the launch on Monday but this was met by silence from some of the big retailers.”
These included retailers that had signed up to the MOU in December.
Mr Jirasak said that, when contacted about their silence, they told him they were worried that not enough members of the public were aware of the campaign, and that this would cause problems with customers who came to stores without their own bags on “no plastic bag” days.
Mr Jirasak said he accepted that promotion of the project had been a failure because of lack of budget.
He added that the PEO had erected four billboards in various parts of the island to add to the two that were erected last month.
Now, however, only one remains, at the intersection next to the Princess Mother Srinagarindra School in Saphan Hin. The others have been taken down by local government bodies because of a new policy to get rid of unsightly billboards in Phuket.
Mr Jirasak has asked the Governor to table the project at the mobile cabinet meeting that will take place in Phuket on March 18 and 19, in the hope that this will shift the current logjam.