BANGKOK, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Thai Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and 47 private organizations on Friday launched a massive campaign in the center of Bangkok to "cease the use of single-use plastic bags" to save earth.
Speaking on a loud speaker, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said shops, department stores and convenience stores of the 47 private organizations will cease using single-use plastic shopping bags from January 1, 2020 onwards.
Varawut told shoppers to bring their own shopping bags or spend money using cloth bags instead into the shopping malls.
The minister told the crowd in the campaign that his ministry will in 1-2 years, impose a complete ban on the use of single-use plastic bags, styrofoam boxes, plastic straws and single-use plastic cups.
"The government in cooperation with private sectors have been working towards reducing trash including plastic waste, being washed into seas. We have also installed netting in the estuaries of several rivers to trap the trash," Varawut said.
"However if cooperation come from all in stopping the use of single-use plastics, it will be much less work and less expenses for the government," said the minister.
Varawut told the media that campaigns over the past year have seen a reduction in the use of single-use plastic shopping bags by more than 2 billion bags, which he said is equivalent to 5,755 tons of plastic.
That included about 830 million plastic bags from convenient stores, Varawut said.
The minister said he hopes that Thailand will be able to halve its plastic garbage next year and put a ban in all single-use plastic products by 2021.