“Around 100,000 styrofoam food boxes are used each day. Many are being left as rubbish that we cannot dispose of easily,” said Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, vice rector of Thammasat University, in his capacity as the director of the university’s Volunteers for Dad coordination centre at Sanam Luang.
“For the sake of the environment, let’s switch to biodegradable bagasse containers,” he said.
Plastic water bottles are compounding the problem as mourners are drinking several bottles a day while at Sanam Luang, where the weather and crowds have been creating hot conditions, he said.
Instead of taking several bottles each time, visitors should get only one each and have it refilled with water when they want more, he said. This way everyone can help decrease the number of plastic bottles left in the area.
On average, about 80,000 people have been visiting Sanam Luang for the morning rite every day, with the amount of rubbish there doubling to approximately 66 tonnes per day, said deputy Bangkok governor Wanwilai Promlakkhano.
The volume of rubbish reached 175 tonnes on Saturday (Oct 22) as the number of visitors peaked with large crowds singing the Royal Anthem and filming the event, she said.
Since Saturday, as much as 200 tonnes of rubbish has accumulated which needs to be sorted into different categories so it can be disposed of properly, said Preedao Aphaiwong, a deputy spokesman of City Hall.
Of the about 1,700 people volunteering at the Thammasat centre, a number of them are responsible for sorting the waste, while others have taken up tasks such as storing donated items, said Mr Prinya.
A vast portion of the waste left at Sanam Luang are styrofoam containers which end up in landfills and take along time to decompose, he said.
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