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End of this year, Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics – and from four other types of single-use plastics by 2022, according to a road map that got the Cabinet’s initial nod on Tuesday.
The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also included an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy, Assistant Government Spokesman Colonel Athisit Chainuwat said.
The four single-use plastics to be rid of by 2022 are: lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – with the exception of those who still need to use them such as the elderly, patients and children.
The Cabinet on Tuesday acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy, he said.
The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.
The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.
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.
One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.
Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16 per cent of garbage in the seas.