Plastic bags on their way out

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by windwalker » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:25 pm

fountainhall wrote:I mostly get them from Hong Kong as I am there 3 or 4 times a year and at least two of the supermarket chains sell biodegradable liners. There is one close to the hotel I stay at. A pack of 30 costs around HK$24 - about Bt. 100.
Thanks fountainhall, I will see if any are available locally in Pattaya.

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:17 am

I'm all in favor of cutting plastics use in favor of using biodegradable materials instead, although I don't see how just once a month is going to put much of a dent in the problem.

Along with the pollution, a lot of plastic waste ends up clogging the drainage systems, significantly contributing to the flood problems every time there is a heavy rain. Much of it ends up on the beaches too. No one likes to sit on a beach surrounded by plastic bags, empty styrofoam food containers, and all kinds of other waste.

The list of cooperating retailers includes Makro. Makro never used plastic bags in the first place, but the stores are always crowded. People do manage to cope.

In any case, at least Thailand is making a start.

See also: ... l/30359859


Shops pledge to cut plastic bag use

by Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

December 5, 2018

As many as 40 retailers and store operators have entered an agreement with the Mineral Resources Department not to provide plastic bags on the fourth of each month.

The deal, effective Tuesday, was signed by small and large retail chains including Tops, Robinson, Big C, Tesco Lotus, Makro, Foodland, Watsons, Central Marketing Group and OfficeMate.

They all pledged to support activities aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags. Retailers also committed to launching promotional campaigns and educating consumers on the environmental dangers of single-use plastic.

Waste from plastics amounts to roughly 2 million tonnes or 12% of all rubbish in Thailand each year. Of that total, just 0.5 million tonnes is recycled, according to the Pollution Control Department.

The department reports that about 45 billion plastic bags, 6.76 billion food containers and some 9.75 billion single-use plastic cups are used every year.

Phattaraporn Phenpraphat, vice-president for marketing at Central Food Retail Co, the operator of Tops Supermarket chains, said the company began promoting the reduced use of plastic bags over the past decade.

In July of this year, the company started a campaign to stop providing plastic bags to shoppers on the third of every month at its 217 stores across the country.

"With this scheme, we can reduce the use of plastic bags by about 500,000 plastic bags on each day that it runs. Since July, as many as one million customers refused plastic bags from our stores," Ms Phattaraporn said.

The company has also provided a speedier Green Check Out counter, a line in which plastic bags are not is available for shoppers, since October this year.

It will continue to offer this service at Tops Superstore and Tops Daily stores next year. Moreover, it is considering offering biodegradable plastic bags to customers.

Tops uses about 200 million plastic bags a year, but Ms Phattaraporn voiced confidence that the figure would decline sharply.

Voralak Tulaphorn, chief marketing officer at The Mall Group, said The Mall has been using Oxo biodegradable bags at its Home Fresh Mart chains for 10 years under The Mall Think Green project and also now uses shopping bags made of recycled paper at all its retail complexes.

The group uses about 100 million bags at its chain stores, of which 10% are biodegradable bags and 90% plastic. It also offers paper bags to clients.

"With the implementation of The Mall Think Green project, we can reduce the use of plastic bags by over 20%," Ms Voralak said.

Last year, it used 4 million less plastic bags and expects to save at least six million this year by adding more days where they are not provided as standard.

Surakit Arayarangsi, head of back of house operations at Robinson Plc, said the company is finding new methods to reduce the use of plastic products at its complexes across the country.

It will also expand the use of bags made from recycled plastics at all stores as well as ask vendors at its food courts to use biodegradable food containers. ... ic-bag-use

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:23 am

Hopes on ‘greener’ plastics to turn tide on battle for environment

By Nophakhun Limsamarnphun

February 02, 2019

Plastics that have been labelled as biodegradable by industry have become more popular and affordable due to increased public awareness of environmental issues resulting from the many kinds of damage caused by single-use plastic bags, food containers, straws and other non-compostable items.

According to Pralong Damrong-thai, director-general of the Pollution Control Department, the Kingdom’s garbage increased 1.64 per cent over the past year, to a total of 27.82 million tonnes in 2018.

The main causes were an expansion of urban areas and the increase in migrant workers, tourists and in household consumption.

Of the total volume of garbage, 34 per cent or 9.58 million tonnes were properly separated and recycled while 7.36 million tonnes of garbage were not correctly managed.

Overall, Thailand churned out some two million tonnes of plastic garbage in 2018 with only 500,000 tonnes recycled. The remaining plastic garbage has become a major environmental issue, as it is for the most part not compostable and poses hazards to both people and marine life.

Micro and nano-plastics are a major source of pollution, affecting both fresh and salt water environments and the organisms living within.

Experts have also warned that tiny bits of these plastics have also entered the human food chain, with unknown future health consequences.

In a bid to help reduce plastic garbage, the Cabinet earlier instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to launch a nationwide campaign, and for all state agencies to ban single-use plastic bags, foam containers and water cups.

According to Apilux Tiwananta-korn, communication and CSR department manager of Thantawan Industry, a producer of compostable plastics, the prices of green plastic products are now much lower than before, helping to boost the popularity of less environmentally hazardous products.

Thantawan Industry has launched the Sunbio brand of compostable T-shirt bags and straws made from corn, tapioca and sugarcane, which they claim are 100 per cent compostable within 180 days.

The demand for compostable bags and straws has been growing rapidly, especially in retail and restaurant sectors where consumer sentiment for environmental protection is relatively strong.

Previously, prices of compostable bags and straws were as much as three times that of the large majority of products that are made from petrochemicals and remain in |the environment for hundreds of years.

Now, the price difference has shrunk, bringing the products within reach of businesses that want to switch to “greener” products.

Supermarkets, department stores and other retail outlets are among the major users of non-compostable plastic bags, and so some operators have encouraged customers to use textile bags instead of single-use plastics.

Some customers are asking that restaurant chains replace single-use plastic straws with stainless steel foldable straws that can be re-used for a long time. Another choice is for restaurants to switch to compostable straws and supermarkets to carry compostable T-shirt bags.

The private sector has also suggested that the government grant tax incentives to help boost the demand for “green” plastic products by lowering their price, thus reducing the amount of single-use plastic garbage in the country.

Concerned about sea pollution and the deaths of birds and turtles, the European Parliament in October 2018 voted to ban the plastics.

The ban, which comes into effect in 2021, includes straws, plates, cups and cotton buds which experts |said are then consumed by marine life.

The European Union also plans to reduce plastic packaging for food by 25 per cent by 2025 while 90 per cent of beverage bottles must be collected and recycled by the same date.

The Thai government has yet to consider similar measures to check the phenomenal growth of single-use plastics.

Thus the cheapest and most convenient option continues to pose a growing environmental and health challenge to people and marine life. ... l/30363398

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by Captain Kirk » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:14 pm

Ahead of the game here, I've been carrying the reusable bags for five years or so. We do need to get rid of the plastic stuff. Here in the UK they're trying to go further than the bags. Looking at stuff like a levy on coffee cups to encourage folk to bring their own, plastic straws are also getting the bums rush. I'm in favour of all of it but it still won't make but a small difference. Climate change is happening and will continue to. Doubt we'll be seeing the worst of it and those who are affected will no doubt soon adapt.

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by fountainhall » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:36 pm

I'm not sure most of us know how extensive the plastic problem actually is and how difficult it will be to solve it. This vdo shows how one man's initiative in Mumbai has mobilised volunteers to clear 12,000 tons of plastic from one Mumbai beach in one year. Yet further up on another beach, you cannot see any sand for plastic. Good on the kids who turn up to help, not because they have to but because they want to.

Education and paying collectors for recycling are desperately needed. But of course, like the pollution in Thailand and the polar vortex over the USA, governments will not do much until far too late. Thank goodness there are some good people around.

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:30 am

Thailand still sealed in plastic

By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

June 03, 2019

With World Environment Day being observed on Wednesday, major retail chains Tesco Lotus and Central Group have pledged to further reduce plastic use in their operations, and on a permanent basis.

The announcements drew praise from some environmentalists, but Greenpeace said the level of commitment remained inadequate to have the needed effect on Thailand’s plastic-waste nightmare.

A fundamental shift in consumer behaviour was needed, it said.

Tesco Lotus corporate affairs director Salinla Seehapan said the chain would eliminate all “expanded polyethylene” packaging by the end of this month and switch to recyclable materials instead.

Tesco Lotus will also continue efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags, she said.

“We have been gradually reducing expanded-polyethylene packaging in all 2,000 outlets since last year and we are proud to announce that, by July, none of our stores will use it,” Salinla said.

“From now on, our food products will be packed in recyclable thermoforming plastic plate, which could reduce the use of expanded polyethylene by more than 400 tonnes a year.”

Cheap and lightweight, expanded polyethylene foam packaging remains in wide use for wrapping food, electronic and electrical goods, furniture and more, but it is considered non-biodegradable. Scientists say it will take thousands of years to fully break down.

Its lightness actually contributes to the waste problem, since the wind carries off discarded pieces, littering streets and often ending up in the sea.

There it can break up into micro-plastic easily swallowed by marine life, thus contaminating the food chain and posing a health hazard to consumers of seafood.

Salinla said Tesco Lotus would maintain its policy of banning plastic bags on the fourth day of every month in a bid to encourage customers to bring fabric bags or their own plastic bags to reuse.

The chain will also open a sixth plastic-bags-free outlet on Koh Chang in Trat by the end of the year where the bags are banned year-round.

Central Retail Corp president Nicolo Galante had earlier announced its ambitious goal to become Thailand’s first plastic-bags-free retailer by the end of this year.

Beginning on World Environment Day, Galante said, all of the chain’s outlets except its food markets would stop automatically placing purchases in plastic bags. Customers will have to specifically request a plastic bag or bring their own.

Greenpeace country director Tara Buakamsri said he was pleased to hear the two retail giants were taking stronger measures to reduce plastic waste, but warned that it’s still not enough to meet the national goal of abandoning expanded polyethylene food packaging completely by 2022.

Every retailer and every consumer must adopt more intensive measures to cut down on the use of all kinds of single-use plastic, Tara said.

“The big companies’ CSR [corporate social responsibility] campaigns alone cannot end plastic pollution,” he said. “The key to solving the problem is changing consumer behaviour, and Thais are heavily addicted to plastic.

“So we should focus on lessening their reliance on single-use plastic by fostering different behaviour and a fresh mindset.”

The Plastic Institute of Thailand estimates that, in 2015, more than 2.048 million tonnes of plastic were used in product packaging and more than 476,000 tonnes were used to make plastic bags.

Rutchada Suriyakul Na Ayutya, director-general of the government’s Environment Quality Promotion Department, said every Thai was generating 1.15 kilograms of waste a day on average through reliance on single-use plastic.

The result is more than 2 million tonnes of plastic waste annually.

And only 500,000 tonnes of the waste was being properly managed and recycled each year, Rutchada said. ... l/30370446

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Re: Plastic bags on their way out

Post by Dodger » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 am

I'm 100% in favor of using biodegradable materials whenever possible. Stopping or minimizing the use of plastic bags at a super market is a nice symbolic gesture to project "Thinking Green" but in all reality it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.

Over 90% of all the plastic that's contaminating our environment has its roots in the manufacturing industries who not only make products out of plastic but use plastic wrapping materials almost extensively for shipping and product preservation. Half the food products that gets dropped in those plastic bags at the supermarket are wrapped in plastic or similar synthetic packaging materials which are bad for the environment.

I see these kind's of gestures as a good thing for the mere fact that it raises public awareness of a serious concern, but until they clamp down on the use of plastic in the manufacturing industries we'll never come close to hitting the target.

My boyfriend and I consume an average of 4 liters of drinking water a day. We installed a water purification system which now saves me the task of going to 7/11 every day and also reduces the amount of plastic which goes into our garbage by 1,408 plastic bottles per year. I guess we're doing our best to contribute but it's hard to buy anything that's not wrapped in plastic.

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