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Plastic Waste on Beach

It would appear that Thailand is 6th in a world league table for generating plastic waste. I am not at all surprised.

My Crazy Plastic Use List

  • A plastic bag is used to cover bottles of alcohol being drank in the street.
  • Convenience stores automatically giving customers plastic straws whenever a soft drink is purchased.
  • Convenience stores automatically giving plastic spoons with purchases of yoghurt etc.
  • Stores automatically placing purchases of the smallest item in a plastic bag.
  • Stores using larger than needed plastic bags for items.
  • The reliance on plastic stools and chairs everywhere you look (no doubt due to cost).
  • The mentality of some people who just throw plastic bottles onto the ground.

The list could be added to I am sure.

All this plastic will probably end up in landfill or the ocean. The waste that ends up in the ocean will be ingested by fish or thrown up onto once pristine beaches. This waste on the beaches will eventually will be returned to the ocean or added to landfill and will take a huge amount of time to decompose.

We all know this, but the mentality of some people is such that they see their individual contribution to the amount of waste as insignificant and do not think of the millions of others with the same attitude = a huge problem.

The more publicity this problem gets the more likely attitudes will change. Especially among younger people.

Staff in my local 7 - Eleven are now asking farang if they need a bag or not. They do not ask the Thais as it would appear that a bag is expected by Thais as part of the purchase. If they do not get a bag do they feel cheated?

As for straws and spoons I have to tell the staff no as they don't ask about them. But this change in attitudes about plastic bags is encouraging.

In my local mom and pop shops the older people look at me with incredulity when I decline a bag. But I do; they will get used to it.

In my view, the level of plastic waste is not going to decline for decades, so far more money needs to be spent by the Government on modern, high tech incinerators. Not just one or two but dozens. Reliance on 'traditional' methods of waste disposal has to stop.

There is the recycling argument. Yes, quite a lot of plastic is recycled, especially plastic bottles.  However, as more and more people see it as a way of making a few baht the amount that is available to waste plastic buyers is such that they have to decline a lot of it. This is then dumped.

It needs to be burnt in high tech incinerators.

Rant over.

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