hailand’s Environment Minister announced a major agreement with retailers, plastic manufacturers and shopping malls to stop providing single-use plastic bags to customers. This new program will come into effect in January 2020.
Last year, several supermarkets began offering various promotions to encourage their buyers to reduce the number of single-use bags distributed. However, this was not a real attempt to reduce the huge amounts of plastic waste generated by these companies, but rather a media stunt.
The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, said that many interlocutors had been invited to join the campaign.
« This cooperation will help Thailand leave the list of major generators of waste and sea garbage, » he added.
Among the companies involved are Central, The Mall, CP All (owner of 7 – Eleven Thailand), Makro, Robinson, Bangchak, Big C, Index Living Mall and PTT, as well as various professional associations.
These partners have committed to stop distributing single-use plastic bags to customers from January onwards.
« This type of campaign should have been done long ago. We have spent so much time trying to negotiate. At last, we made it, » said the Minister.
From next January, Thais will have to bring their own bags to carry their purchases.
« 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’s estimated that Thais use 45 billion single-use plastic bags per year, » he noted.
In addition, as of 2022, the ban on polystyrene food packaging and other single-use plastic items, including straws and cups, will also come into force.