Plastic waste disposal has been a growing concern. Indestructible plastic waste dumped into the sea destroys the marine ecosystem by killing sea creatures and polluting marine life.
Unsustainable practices in marine-related economic sectors are contributing to the surging amount of plastic debris in regional seas that harm local businesses. Alongside, Seafood contaminated with micro-plastics threatens food safety and public health across Asia as numerous people depend on seafood for their protein intake.
Protecting marine environments is a growing priority in East Asia. The World Economic Forum predicted that there would be more ocean plastic waste than fish by 2050 without effective intervention. Active work is needed in adopting resolutions to promote sustainable development and co-operation to reduce marine plastic debris.
SCBEIC said to Bangkok Post that Thailand ranks as the sixth-worst globally for dumping plastic waste in the sea, amounting to 1.3 million tonnes per year, following China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Globally, approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into water sources every year.
According to the non-profit Ocean Conservancy, a total of 150 million tonnes of plastic waste is submerged in oceans and other water bodies. This is a cause of alarm to the sea world creatures and is likely to endanger them more if adequate measures of effective waste management and plastic recycling are not taken up immediately.
Source: The Nation
As a priority measure, the Thai cabinet has introduced a 12-year roadmap, in the years 2018-2030, to tackle the plastic waste and reduce or end certain usages of plastic materials which are predominantly harming the environment. The related state agencies are getting huge participation from the private and business sectors to propel this initiative.
Continuous public relations campaigns and social media awareness are being built strongly to educate the mass. The partnership was initiated in 2018 to address Thailand’s plastic debris. Initially, 15 organizations joined the program. In 2019, the membership more than doubled to 33 organizations.
Most of Thailand’s plastic waste in the ocean is bags [13%], straws [10%], and food containers [8%] as per Bangkok Post.
This year, Thailand is expected to be free of three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals, and oxo-degradable plastics. Furthermore, the roadmap is taking measures to quit using four other types of single-use plastics by 2022. Those are lightweight plastic bags (with thickness less than 36 microns), styrofoam food containers for takeaway, single-use plastic cups, and plastic straws, with the exception of those who still need to use them like children, patients or elderly persons.
According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year. The average Thai consumer uses approximately 8 plastic bags daily and 500 million plastic bags are consumed by the entire country as reported by The Nation.
As per Bangkok Post, Thailand is going towards the right direction and a no-bag campaign at 7-Eleven for example has reduced the use of plastic bags by more than 100 million pieces.
Source: Bangkok Post