Cabinet approves no plastic campaign for 2020

The government will get a head start on its 2021 hard ban on single-use plastic bags with a campaign to stop handing out those types of bags along with plastic cups, straws, and Styrofoam containers in 2020.

Government Spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said the cabinet has approved a plan put forward by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to encourage businesses to stop giving out single-use plastic bags to customers.

Some Thai businesses, such as department stores and convenience stores, have already joined in this effort. Others have been implementing it on certain days of the week, such as supermarkets. Many have yet to take part, however.

Last year, the government passed the Thailand Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018-2030. By the end of this year, the Kingdom will ban three types of plastic: microbeads, cap seals, and oxo-degradable plastics. And by 2022, it will ban four others: lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick, styrofoam food containers, plastic cups, and plastic straws.

Public consciousness about plastic pollution was raised two years ago when a pilot whale washed up and died on a Thai beach. The sea mammal had ingested plastic bags and other plastic refuse while swimming in the oceans, and that prevented it from digesting food. It had starved to death.

Thailand has taken a leading role in turning the tide on plastic waste in the region. As chair country of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand proposed and coordinated support to pass a resolution on reducing marine debris.

In the dozens of ASEAN meetings it hosted, it employed green and sustainable principles, shunning single-use plastics at all events.

Photo courtesy of