Businesses call for more plastic recycling measures

Companies in Thailand are showing their corporate social responsibility by calling on the government to take even more steps to promote and facilitate the recycling of plastic waste to achieve the Kingdom’s goal of recycling all plastic waste by 2030.

“I think the government’s goal is ambitious, but this is exactly the kind of thinking and aspiration that we need right now and is a goal that we should promote and encourage as much as possible,” said Dominic Chakrabongse, director of Precious Plastics Bangkok, a small non-profit that turns used plastic containers into new products.

Chakrabongse called on the government to create a national waste recycling system. Products should have color codes or symbols so that anyone in any part of Thailand can understand what can be recycled and where to take them for recycling.

Also, he urged the government to tax companies making plastic products. The tax rate would go down if they recycle or use plastic waste in manufacturing their products. If the companies purchase plastic waste, the value of that waste will increase, making it more likely people would participate in the recycling of that waste.

Vipin Kumar, senior vice-president of Indorama Ventures, said the government should change its regulations that forbid using recycled plastic or recycled-polyethylene terephthalate (r-PET) in packaging for food and drinks.

Indorama is the largest manufacturer of plastics in Thailand. Kumar said the regulation was intended to prevent the mixing of all sorts of waste and unsafe types of plastic into the recycling process. Technology has improved, he insisted, and to ensure safety the government could license and inspect a few facilities to make food packaging from recycled plastics.