Thai giant retailers to cease handing out single-use plastic bags early next year

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-07 16:57:57|Editor: xuxin
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BANGKOK, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Thai giant retailers and major department stores on Saturday published on their websites that they will cease to hand out single-use plastic bags to customers starting January next year.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment had invited the private sector and major retailers on Friday to join the ministry's campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

"This cooperation will help Thailand leave the list of major generators of waste and sea garbage," Varawut Silpa-archa, the environment minister said.

Varawut told the media that he had sought cooperation from giant retailers, major department stores, and titans in plastic manufacturing and trade associations in finding ways to eliminate single use plastic bags.

The environment minister said that it is the responsibility of consumers to bring their own shopping bags.

Thailand is ranked sixth in the world for generating sea waste," said Varawut, "we must demonstrate to the world that we are showing efforts in reducing single use plastic bags."

In its latest data released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thais use 45 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

Of this number, 13.5 billion or 30 percent, is generated from department stores and 24-hour convenience stores, it said.

Meanwhile, another 30 percent of plastic waste comes from street markets, it said.

Varawut said giant retailers which have agreed to ban the use of single- use plastic bags from January include Central Group, The Mall Group, CP All Plc, Robinson Plc, Bangchak Retail Co, Big C Supercenter Plc, Siam Makro Plc, Index Living Mall Plc, PTT Plc as well as trade associations such as Plastic Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries and Thai Retailers Association.