Thai retailers ban single-use plastic bags

BANGKOK: Thai retailers started 2020 with a handbag, joining disposable carriers in the Southeast Asian nation, where citizens spend an average of eight per day.

The move, taken Wednesday by several major shopping center operators and the ubiquitous 7/11 convenience stores, will see customers pay a small fee for a reusable bag made of a fabric similar to the fabric.

Thailand It is one of the largest contributors to ocean pollution, with plastic bags that recently appeared in the stomachs of dead marine mammals such as dugongs and green turtles and that sparked the national search for souls.

A government campaign to eliminate its use in 2022 has seen television channels pixelating plastic bags on the screen, along with other types of nudes, smoking cigarettes, alcohol consumption and violent crimes.

While Green Peace 's Pichmol Rugrod said the move by the retailers was a good start, she added it was "not enough to solve the plastic crisis." "We should stop the 'throw-away' culture in Thailand ," she said.

The country will continue to produce plastic containers and lacks an appropriate waste management policy, he added, while reusable bags are usually made of a spun microplastic fabric.

The microplastic will create another problem ... it affects the environment in terms of when it is in the ground because it has chemicals, he said.

And some buyers like Viroj Sinchairokekul were not impressed by having to pay for the new bags.

Instead, I will go to the local markets because they still give us, said the 63-year-old man, in a Bangkok Mall.

The European Commission estimates that about 70 percent of plastic waste obstructs the world's oceans, killing a variety of species, from turtles, seals, whales and seabirds to fish and shellfish.

Malawi banned the production, distribution and import of single-use plastics in 2015, and last November banned single-use plastics from 2021.