Thailand Retail Giants Agree to Stop Using Plastic Bags Starting Next Year

A coalition of Thailand’s largest retailers, plastics manufacturers, trade associations, and department stores have come together and pledged to stop handing out single-use plastic bags beginning January of next year.

Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa said this will help Thailand get off the list of the world’s most heavy plastic waste producers.

The big-name retailers you can expect to stop giving out single-use plastic bags to customers include Big C, Central, Robinson, Makro, Index, and numerous others.

Customers at these stores will now have to bring their own bag or buy a reusable bag at the point of purchase.

Thailand currently ranks as the 6th largest producer of sea waste in the world, with estimations that Thais use 45 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

Over 30% of these plastic bags come from 24-hour convenient stores like 7-11 and Family Mart as well as large department stores and malls.

Another estimated 30% comes from smaller family-owned restaurants, shops, and street vendors, which will be more difficult to curb.

By 2022, Thailand plans to ban styrofoam food containers as well as plastic straws, cups, and bags.

The environmental ministry is also working on introducing legislation that would set up regulations requiring the recycling and reduction in the use of plastic waste.

Read the full story here.

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