The report, posted on the DMCR Facebook page today (Mar 7) , marked the top 10 items of beach litter collected over the past year.
Number 2 on the list was plastic bags, followed by scraps of foam.
Glass beverage bottles ranked fourth, followed by food containers, plastic scraps, clothing/shoes/accessories, beverage cans and foam food boxes.
“All waste was sorted according to the International Coastal Cleanup Thailand Data Card (ICC Card) form, in which it was found that almost all litter collected was plastic waste,” the DMCR stated in its report.
According to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), as of 2020 Thailand is the world’s 10th-biggest dumper of plastic waste into the sea.
“That is not surprising. The country has an average of 1.03 tonnes of mismanaged waste each year. Nearly half of it (0.41 tonnes) flows into the sea. Plastics take a long time from 20 up to 500 years to decompose,” said researcher Yaowalak Chanthamas and Dr Adis Israngkura PhD, Adviser for Resource Sustainability and Mitigation Policy at the TRDI, in their missive marking World Oceans Day on June 8 last year.
Most of the Thai marine waste is plastics led by plastic debris (12%), Styrofoam boxes (10%), food wrappers (8%), plastic bags (8%), glass bottles (7%), plastic bottles (7%) and straws (5%), they wrote.
“Marine pollution is not solely an environmental issue. Ignoring its social roots is one of the main reasons why Thailand’s efforts to tackle ocean plastic waste are far from being successful.
“Without proper waste sorting by households and communities, particularly in crowded areas along the coasts, tonnes of rubbish endlessly flow into the sea, gravely affecting the marine ecosystem, sea life, and the food chains, ending up seriously affecting human health.
“Marine pollution primarily stems from consumer behaviour and waste mismanagement. According to the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, Thailand produces 27.8 million tonnes of waste a year. About 7.19% or 2 million tonnes of this waste is from local communities, including those along the coasts and by the rivers,” the pair wrote.