Over 80 percent of Thais support plastic bag ban

Over 80 percent of Thais support the recent government ban on stores handing out single-use plastic bags, with nearly 60 percent strongly supporting, according to a poll released last week.

The results underscore the Thai public’s concern for the environment and sustainability. It also bolsters the government’s decision to implement the ban, despite criticisms from some plastic bag manufacturers and a small minority of consumers.

Before two years ago, most Thais were relatively unaware of the issue of plastic pollution and the scale of waste and damage to the environment it has been causing. Since then, every sector of society has shown a willingness to find solutions to the problem.

According to an opinion survey by the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA), 57.7 percent of respondents said they strongly support the ban on single-use plastic bags. Another 23.2 percent said they agree with it but think it should be implemented more gradually to give everyone time to adjust.

Meanwhile, 9.7 percent said they disagreed with it, but not absolutely because they also believed people need more time to prepare and adapt to the policy. Just 8.7 percent said they strongly oppose the ban because they say it puts too much burden on consumers.

The NIDA poll sample size was 1,262 people aged 15 and over. Those surveyed had diverse levels of education, a wide range of occupations, and live in every part of the country.

The poll also asked respondents how they have adapted to the ban. Nearly 80 percent said they bring their own bags or other containers; 18 percent said they carry the items away by hand; 11 percent said they go shopping less frequently; about 5 percent said they buy plastic bags or other containers from the stores to carry their purchases.

Photo courtesy of https://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news/detail/TCATG191219101232555