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Government calls on volunteers to battle plastic trash crisis

Government calls on volunteers to battle plastic trash crisis

THAILAND: The government has sought help from 230,000 environmental volunteers in its campaign to help reduce the scourge of plastic waste in the country.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 6 December 2019, 03:14PM

Plastic waste pollution is reaching epidemic proportions globally with Thailand among the worst offenders. Photo AFP

Plastic waste pollution is reaching epidemic proportions globally with Thailand among the worst offenders. Photo AFP

"These volunteers will act as good models (for conservation) and alert people to the crisis," permanent secretary for natural resources and environment Jatuporn Burutphat said during a two-day meeting of the volunteer's network, which ended on Wednesday (Dec 4).

Mr Jatuporn admitted the authority has limited manpower to carry on this uphill task.

The volunteers, he said, would run the campaign in parallel with 75 stores which plan to ban plastic bags across their 24,500 retail distribution channels from Jan 1 next year.

(see story here: https://www.thephuketnews.com/retailers-set-jan-1-plastic-bag-ban-73866.php#X8EJ26RRb65IO4qL.97)

Apart from volunteers disseminating environmental messages, the ministry will also use online communication channels such as Line, Facebook and YouTube to convey messages.

"People must become aware of the bad impact caused by daily routines such as offering alms in plastic bags to monks and selling goods contained in plastic bags," Mr Jatuporn said.

Every year Thailand generates up to 45 billion used plastic bags, according to the Pollution Control Department.

About 30%, or 13.5 billion of them, come from grocery stores while an equal amount comes from shopping malls, supermarkets and convenience stores.

Thailand has been named the sixth-highest marine polluter in the world.

About 2,172 tonnes of the 24 million tonnes of waste Thailand produces annually finds its way to the sea.

These plastics affected marine ecology, especially animals. There has been a rise in reports of fish and dugongs in Thai waters dying after they have ingested garbage.

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Kurt | 09 December 2019 - 14:44:17

When thai Government feels Thailand is in a plastic trash crisis, than send during weekends Officials to the beach shadow locations were thai families eat, snack and drink, and leave all their styrofoam  cups,  boxes & plastics at beaches when they go home. Teach them 'environment'. Can or not? Or is that to much 'confrontation'? Than remain  a trashing country. Start to be fir...

Capt B | 09 December 2019 - 10:57:59

Have yourself a large crab fried rice on the barge at Chaiyo Seafood one day when the tide is running & watch the plastic bottles floating past into your next seafood dinner's guts.

Capt B | 09 December 2019 - 10:52:59

Forget the plastics ban and volunteers. The Thai Govt. should do a 6 month survey to find out where all their Storm Water Drain Outlets are and have sluice gates installed at each outlet complete with hydraulic actuated outlet screen scrapers for daily or as required disposal of garbage to dry dump.  Problem Solved.

Christy Sweet | 08 December 2019 - 16:08:49

No foreigner should ever lift a finger to pick up a Thai's trash carelessly tossed on the side of the road or swept into the road - all to wash down into the sea.  Let them drown in plastic. Incidentally,  I wonder if BHP, which is an estrogen mimicker is why there are so many trans-gendered about? 

Kurt | 07 December 2019 - 13:49:09

Sickening volunteers appeals, one after another. For Gods sake. Just forbid plastic!  Now, period. It is a matter of 'National Face'  of a 'smart' country in world top 5 with plastic waste.

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