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Leading Thai retailers to stop handing out plastics

Leading Thai retailers to stop handing out plastics

BANGKOK: Giant retailers, plastic manufacturing titans, and department stores reached an agreement on Friday (Sept 6) to stop handing out single-use plastic bags to customers starting early next year.

economicsenvironmentpollution
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 7 September 2019, 09:24AM


Leading retailers, including Central, The Mall, Big C and Makro, reached an agreement to stop handing out single-use plastic bags to customers. Photo: Patipat Janthong / Bangkok Post

Leading retailers, including Central, The Mall, Big C and Makro, reached an agreement to stop handing out single-use plastic bags to customers. Photo: Patipat Janthong / Bangkok Post

"This cooperation will help Thailand leave the list of major generators of waste and sea garbage," Varawut Silpa-archa, the environment minister told a press conference on yesterday.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment had invited scores of partners yesterday to join the ministry's campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

These partners represent giant retailers, major department stores, and titans in plastic manufacturing and trade associations.

Among the big names were Central Group, The Mall Group, CP All Plc, Robinson Plc, Bangchak Retail Co, Big C Supercenter Plc, Siam Makro Plc, Index Living Mall Plc, PTT Plc as well as trade associations such as Plastic Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries and Thai Retailers Association.

These partners have vowed to stop giving out single-use plastic bags to customers starting January 2020.

"So, consumers must prepare to bring their own bags to carry things. This type of campaign should have been done long ago. We have spent so much time trying to negotiate. At last, we made it," he said.

A campaign like this shows that Thailand, which is ranked sixth in the world for generating sea waste, is attempting to reduce plastic waste.

It is estimated that Thais use 45 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

Of this number, 13.5 billion – about 30% – is generated from department stores and 24-hour convenience stores.

Meanwhile, another 30% of plastic waste comes from mom-and-pop shops and the rest from street vendors and traditional fresh markets.

The environment minister said cooperation from these retail titans and department stores can help to reduce single-use plastic usage by 30%.

Meanwhile, by the start of 2022, a ban imposed on Styrofoam food packages and single-use plastic items, including lightweight plastic bags, straws and cups will also come in effect.

The ban is part of the government's roadmap on plastic waste management for the 2018-2030 period.

Apart from a ban on plastic food packages by 2022, the masterplan also sets a goal to have all plastic materials and waste in Thailand recycled by 2030.

In a related development, the environmental ministry said it is drafting a law that would govern the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic materials and waste.

If adopted, this item of legislation will become the first law on waste reuse and recycling.

Part of the law will require garbage producers to bear responsibility in separating waste into different groups for recycling.

Read original story here.

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Christy Sweet | 07 September 2019 - 21:38:37

What I see lining the roads are the thrice wrapped food and beverage containers- slung from countless uncaring slobs-and my neighbor's daily instant coffee packaging strewn on the lane to wash down to my land where I pick it up. Want a bag, you pay for it is the only way to curb usage.  

Kurt | 07 September 2019 - 14:12:24

Makro and Villa market shops are being a good example of not handing out plastic bags for long time already on Phuket.  What make the other retailers on Phuket now follow in this? They keep promoting plastic pollution, to say it straight forward. Not much hope a Governor gives a order. To busy with foreigner officials visits and ceremonies. Given 'Order' must not be able to bounds back, ri...

CaptainJack69 | 07 September 2019 - 13:48:11

"30%... comes from mom-&-pop shops" which is why it's so good that Makro no longer sells foam food boxes and is now offering affordable 'bio' products and paper straws. Meanwhile HomePro recently stopped ALL plastic bags and Central group are 'thanking' customers for not using plastic. These "giant" retailers are already being left behind, and about time...

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