“The government has a clear stance on plastic waste because of its harmful effects on the environment, especially marine habitats,” he said. “We had that in mind when we set the country’s plastic recycling goals.”
Gen Surasak, speaking at the 9th Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific, said that waste management is not a political issue, so any government must strive to stay in line with global best practices.
The three-day forum is being held to discuss best practices in waste reduction, reuse and recycling (3R). Hosted by the Thai government, the event is being attended by more than 600 people from 42 countries.
Tomorrow, the forum is going to announce a Bangkok 3R Declaration, to herald regional cooperation on waste management.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand recycles about 25% of its total waste, said Gen Surasak.
“As such, Thailand must work hard to increase its recycling capacity,” he said.
Gen Surasak said that Thailand will ban the import of plastic waste to produce new material.
Currently, Thailand has to import plastic waste from other countries, especially Japan, in order to comply with an international manufacturing rule that requires a third of the materials used to come from recycled material, as its locally generated plastic waste is considered unfit for industrial recycling processes.
Gen Surasak said the ban on importing waste will force the waste management sector to improve. “With support from the business sector, we are confident that we can achieve our target by 2030, or even earlier,” he said.
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