Government approves tax breaks for bioplastic packaging

Thailand’s cabinet passed another green measure last week, approving tax breaks for companies that purchase and use bioplastic packaging for their products, while a major hypermarket chain also pledged further reductions in plastic packaging.

The tax breaks are the latest milestone in a national road map to reduce plastic use and waste. The roam map calls for all plastic waste to be recycled by 2027. The government expects the tax breaks will induce 10 percent of existing companies producing plastics to transition to bioplastic production.

Also, the Pollution Control Department claimed success last week for the first-year results of its efforts to reduce plastic waste, saying that while everyone needs to do more, businesses are increasingly coming on board.

“Our plan to reduce plastic waste is in its early steps and voluntary, but we received strong cooperation,” said Suwanna Tiasuwan, deputy director-general of the Department. “We see voluntary bans of single-use plastic bags, and we see better law enforcement related to plastic waste management.”

Among those companies is Tesco-Lotus, which has over 2,000 hypermarkets and markets in the Kingdom. Its executives said they would eliminate the use of polystyrene foam containers by July 1, and transition to recyclable plastics for as many products and containers as possible.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is drafting a plan to ban the use of microbeads, the minuscule plastic particles found in cosmetic products and which are now permeating the oceans.

The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment has also formed a subcommittee to manage plastic waste and jump-starting national efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics – the basis of the circular economy.