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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