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Plastic Waste


Andrew Reeve
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Over the last year I have noticed the ever increasing illegal dumping of plastic waste around Bangkok such as cups and bottles and the problem seems to be getting worse. After a bit of research, I have come up with the following and there are no real answers.

Over 3,500 tonnes of plastic was thrown away in Bangkok each day in April 2020, up from 2019s average of 2,200 tonnes. Contaminated items, from takeaway bags to containers, bottles and cups, made up more than 80% of the waste. Bangkok’s plastic waste has reached 62% in volume in April, as more people opt for food and goods to be delivered to homes.

To get some perspective, a report published by Thailand’s Pollution Control Department back in 2019 said that due to rapid urbanization and increasing population, at least 27.82 million tonnes of solid waste was generated in the country in 2018, a jump of 1.64 per cent from 2017.

Some of Thailand’s specific waste management challenges include open-air city-centre dumps and waste burning, a total absence of street litter bins, an impractical waste recycling system, no separate collection of waste by authorities, rampant overuse of plastic grocery bags and the need of financial and technical assistance for implementation of policies.

To deal with the surging trash problem, the government’s policy seems to favor waste-to-energy plants, but the push for these plants has already led to steady import of plastic trash into Thailand.

When will policy become action and is it just Bangkok with this Plastic problem?

The import of Plastic trash is from where?

 

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Good questions Andrew, the level of plastic rubbish around the city is horrific and had a look online for companies that recycle and there are a few listed with clear collection instructions. Is it a simple case of educating the population to use plastic less and recycle more often.

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To start with, I would be in favor of Local recycling initiatives outside of supermarkets and schools.

The education has got to start within the school system with ads been placed in newspapers and leaflets handed out to encourage recycling. 

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5 minutes ago, Andrew Reeve said:

The education has got to start within the school system

Whilst I have to agree with your anti-plastic waste fervour, I disagree with your 'start within the school' argument for two reasons; first, the anti-litter drive should start at home like it did when we were kids, but I don't think that there's much of that ethos in this country and, second, the schools can barely teach the kids to add 2 & 2 together so there'd be little-to-no chance of getting something as dull as 'don't drop litter' across to these kids.

Yes, I know, it's KC the cynic, again, but let's be realistic. Maybe a national TV anti-litter drive might have some effect . . . maybe, maybe not!

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I took the positive side of the story with teaching the children first in the hope they would bring the values home with them and question what happens to the plastic rubbish inside their house.

initiatives outside of supermarkets and schools is an easy one as parents can bring plastic and drop it off collecting the kids or before going shopping or even after shopping they could recycle some plastic to save themselves bringing it home.

 

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In Bangkok, the designated authority in charge of keeping our streets litter free is the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The penalty for discarding your rubbish in a non-designated area within a public space is a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht, or 10,000 baht for roadways and waterways. Classic case of catch me if you can and they are not catching enough people littering.

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The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in 2019, started a voluntary campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in department stores and retailers nationwide. 

Not aware of this and obviously was walking around with my eyes closed as several local supermarket around where i live now use paper as an alternative to single use bags.

Anyone else notice any changes with plastic bags usage?

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We have not been offered any alternatives in the greater Patttaya area that i have come across and when we are doing the main weekly shop tomorrow, will keep an eye out.

There are rubbish bins and they are small and pretty infrequent in populated areas.

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I was horrified last month when I visited my girlfriend in her rural village, everyone just seem to throw the garbage where they stood, even with one of these roadside bins like 5m away.

The grass near the house was littered in plastic wrappers...

 

I also remember every time you'd go to 7-11 to buy a bottle of water the cashier looked at you funny when you said you didn't need a plastic bag and a straw. Then all of a sudden last year, I buy a bunch of things but can't get a plastic bag,  because now 7-11 has gone environmental or something. (I thing now they have reasoned up a bit and you can at least buy a bag)

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