Starting yesterday (Jan 1), more than 75 shopping malls and convenience stores nationwide stopped handing out single-use plastic bags to customers, following the government’s six-month anti-plastic campaign.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, and a team of officials visited four major malls in Bangkok, including Tesco Lotus in On Nut, EmQuartier, Central Chidlom and Siam Paragon, to seek public feedback on the “Everyday Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign. More than 90 giant retailers, department stores and supermarkets, earlier reached an agreement with the ministry to stop handing out all types of single-use plastic bags to their customers.
Yesterday, many shops received a positive response from customers, as they were already aware of the anti-plastic campaign. Many shops also offered reusable bags to customers who forgot to bring their own bags with them.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said about 30% of plastic waste previously came from shopping malls and convenience stores, while fresh markets accounted for 40% of plastic usage. The campaign aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by 50% this year.
In the long term, Thailand is to stop importing electronic and plastic waste and is to create new values among the population, especially children, about proper waste disposal to reduce the accumulated garbage affecting the country.
“In the beginning of 2020, I’ve asked the Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment to hold talks with the Permanent Secretary of Education to teach environmental education to students from kindergarten because we must cultivate the habit of waste sorting. It can be sorted into organic waste, hazardous waste, recyclable waste and other types of waste. Some people, still lack this knowledge. Therefore, providing this knowledge to the people is important. As for the government, there are waste sorting and disposal plants. They use plastic bags to produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF), while other waste materials are used in landfills or upcycling. We must provide this knowledge to Thai society.”