February 16, 2023
BANGKOK – The Pollution Control Department (PCD) on Wednesday credited its campaigns among the public for the sharp reduction in the use of single-use plastic and plastic shopping bags, totalling more than 148,000 tonnes in about three years.
PCD director-general Pinsak Suraswadi said the department had launched the campaigns in cooperation with the Environmental Quality Promotion Department (EQPD) in 2018 with the aim of reducing single-use plastic bags and plastic shopping bags by 43% by 2021.
Pinsak said the campaigns had succeeded in reducing the use of plastic bags by 148,699 tonnes, according to an analysis by the Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris, or the Material Flow of Plastic Analysis, at the end of 2021.
Pinsak said the campaigns for the reduction of plastic bag use is being carried out under the roadmap from 2018 to 2030 with two major goals:
– To replace the use of plastic bags with environmentally friendly containers
– To recycle plastic garbage by 100% within 2027.
Pinsak said the PCD and the EQPD have been campaigning with the public to reduce the use of plastic bags since July 21, 2018.
He said the first campaign for reducing the use of shopping plastic bags and foam food containers in markets, shopping malls and convenient stores nationwide from July 21, 2018 to December 2019 led to the reduction of 3.414 billion pieces of plastic bags and foam boxes, or about 9,824 tonnes.
The two departments then carried out the second campaign targeting 90 large department stores, convenience stores and supermarkets. The second phase was carried out from January 1, 2020 to December 2022.
Pinsak said the second project reduced the use of plastic bags by 14.349 billion pieces, or about 81.531 tonnes.
After the first phase of the campaigns ended in 2022, the PCD has drafted a plan for the second phase from this year to 2027. The plan was approved by the National Environment Board and endorsed by the Cabinet on February 7, Pinsak said.
He said the second phase has three major goals:
– To reduce the disposal of plastic garbage in landfilling by 100%
– To recycle plastic garbage by 100%
– To prevent plastic garbage from polluting the sea by 50%.