Effective today (Wednesday), all single-use plastic and Styrofoam items are banned from all of Thailand’s national parks.
According to the announcement by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, which was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday and become enforceable today, all single-use plastic and Styrofoam items, such as plastic bags which are less than 36 microns thick, plastic glasses, spoons, forks, straws and etc. are not allowed in national parks.
Violators can face a maximum fine of up to 100,000 baht if convicted.
The ban is intended to protect the wildlife in the parks, including marine parks, from the danger posed by such items, which are frequently left in the environment by visitors.
There have been many cases of sea turtle carcasses being washed ashore, which were found to have plastic bags in their stomachs, or dead deer, whose stomachs were found to be full of plastic bags, discarded, containing food, by careless tourists. Corals were also found to be covered in sheets of plastic.
Although convenience and department stores in the country have generally stopped providing free single-use plastic bags to their customers, they are still widely used by smaller vendors.