In six weeks, major Thai retailers will stop handing out single-use plastic bags, but Pattaya residents seem unprepared for the change.
An informal survey by the Pattaya Mail found most people ignorant of the agreement announced Sept. 6 between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the country’s largest retail chains. And other than in convenience stores, there is little awareness of the government’s campaign to cut plastic use.
Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said in September that the ministry asked Thai retailers to give up single-use plastic Jan. 1. Among those agreeing are the Central Group, The Mall Group, 7-Eleven operator CP All , Siam Makro, Robinsons, Bangchak Retail, Big C Supercenter, Index Living Mall and gas station operator PTT, as well as trade associations like the Plastic Industry Club and Thai Retailers Association.
The government earlier said it would ban foam food packages plus other single-use plastic items, including lightweight plastic bags, straws and cups, in 2022.