Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:46 am

Reminds me of this project at Wagor Aquarium:
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by oakdale160 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:42 pm

To me the most interesting thing is why do most westerners either curtail their use of plastics or if they don't feel that they really should and Thai people;r have no such feelings. Is it that we are raised to believe that our individual actions can change things and they are raised to believe that things are unchangeable and it is fruitless to try.

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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by Chazz14 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:35 am

I agree, Oakdale.

Many Thais I have tried to explain things to over the last 4 years seem to lose all interest after about 30 seconds leaving me with the impression that they have no interest in learning anything new... I think that caring about the environment/green issues is way outside of their narrow "thinking zone."

Having said that, back in England, many people could not understand my interest in green issues either.

Of course, the current herd of Facebook and Line addicts have found the perfect way to avoid leaning anything useful at all!
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by buksida » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:42 pm

Yes, we know that Thais have a different way of thinking to us but can we keep this thread a positive one on recycling and plastic reduction rather than more Thai bashing!

Plastic is a global problem so it is up to all of us to try and do something about it. No one country or race is responsible for it - we all are.
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by buksida » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:11 pm

David Attenborough says world must act now on plastic after witnessing its impacts filming Blue Planet II
The scourge of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans must be tackled, Sir David Attenborough said as he launched the second series of Blue Planet II.

More than eight million tonnes of plastic reaches the sea every year. There will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, and 99 per cent of the planet’s seabirds will have eaten some.

Humans are already eating plastic from the sea too. The average person who eats seafood swallows up to 11,000 pieces of microplastic every year, according to a study by researchers at the University of Ghent. As Prince Charles put it at a recent Our Ocean summit, “plastic is very much on the menu”.

The BBC has sold the seven-episode Blue Planet II to more than 30 countries. Sir David said he hoped that the programme, which first airs in the UK on 29 October, would help every viewer to realise “that we have a responsibility” to take plastic off the menu.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 01641.html
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by buksida » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:22 pm

buksida wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:36 am
Ecobricks are a great way to recycle plastic that would otherwise be burnt or end up in landfill.

I've started a project making these, with the help of the kids of course! Basically stuff all of your household plastic waste into a bottle until the thing is solid. It takes about 5 minutes per day, you may have to cut some things up to get them in.

You can build things from them or send them off to projects such as the Sai Yok Bamboo Orphanage that are building a school out of them:
https://trashhero.org/blog/ecobricks-su ... ero-trang/
https://bambooschoolthailand.wordpress.com/

More on ecobricks: http://www.ecobricks.org/
22814481_10159571888240486_7319721602782820909_n.jpg
Back to the ecobricks this is how many they have to build the orphanage, they obviously need more!

Why not put your old household plastic trash to good use instead of sending it to landfill where it will remain for 4,000 years or worse, burning it?
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by PeteC » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:51 pm

Time to declare war on plastic (EDITORIAL)

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opi ... on-plastic

Reducing the volume of plastic waste in Thailand has been an unachievable task for a long time. Cutting down on single uses of plastic materials has also been an issue largely ignored by most consumers. Official attempts, such as public awareness campaigns and voluntary cooperation sought from businesses, have always been short-lived, leaving piles of plastic waste mountains rotting on poorly managed dump sites.

But a recent effort by the Pollution Control Department (PCD) suggests that we may be able to tackle the plastic waste problem and expect concrete results if government agencies take serious action, set achievable time-bound goals and reach out to key stakeholders, especially the private sector that generates plastic materials.


On Wednesday the PCD reported its progress on its plan to end the use of plastic cap seals on drinking water bottles. Director-general Sunee Piyapanpong said nine manufacturers of drinking water have stopped using plastic cap seals. By next year, the PCD targets half of all manufacturers to do the same. By 2019, it aims for all of them to put an end to this unnecessary packaging.

Plastic cap seals on water bottles are not materials used to assure hygiene or safety standards, according to the PCD. Due to their light weight and minute scale, cap seals become plastic waste that is difficult to manage. They are too small to be effectively collected. Their light weight makes it easy for them to be scattered in the environment.

Every year Thailand generates 4.4 billion bottles of drinking water, with 60% using plastic cap seals, generating 520 tonnes of waste.

In setting this goal for ending cap seal use, the PCD goes beyond the usual approaches of raising public awareness or seeking voluntary cooperation from the private sector. It has engaged all manufacturers in talks and invited them to join a memorandum of understanding -- an agreement that they will follow the same direction.

The effort of the department is an example of a step-by-step approach that government agencies should apply when it comes to tackling the single use of plastic bags. It has been proved that voluntary efforts by asking for cooperation from consumers and businesses does not yield concrete results.

Instead, the widespread habit of the single use of plastic bags occurring almost at every point of sale has become a common habit in Thailand. At supermarkets, fresh markets, convenience stores, mom-and-pop shops and street vendors, the average Thai consumer is offered plastic bags for almost everything they bought, and they in fact also expect it as a kind of service. Every year, Thais use more than 70 billion bags, which account for more than 20% of the country's total solid waste.

Even though there have been many campaigns in recent years urging consumers to opt for cloth bags, the efforts have not been successful as they have been only temporarily adopted by a small portion of consumers and retailers.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha himself tried to lead a renewed attempt in June, acting as a poster boy for a campaign run by the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion calling for consumers to refrain from plastic bag use three days a week. The campaign has done little to change consumers' behaviour.

It is time for authorities to start taking a more vigorous approach through concrete action to cut down the use of plastic bags. They should explore enforceable options such as the imposition of levies on the production and distribution of plastic bags by businesses and the use of them by consumers. Banning them outright may face public resistance.

If buyers have to pay one or two baht for every bag they need, they will eventually reduce the use of plastic bags or even recycle the old ones they have.

Meanwhile, state agencies should also understand the nature of many Thai consumers who usually rely on takeaways as sources of cooked food wrapped in plastic bags or foam containers. If the government provides incentives for businesses to produce and use food containers made from recyclable materials, this can draw wider support.

The need to cut down plastic waste is an urgent matter. Plastic waste harms our livelihoods, blocking drains and exacerbating flooding, for example. It also poses threats to the environment. Last year Thailand reportedly dumped 2.83 tonnes of garbage into the sea, 12% of which was plastic waste. Marine animals have ingested plastic bags, mistaking them for food. Plastic waste in the ocean has also degraded into microplastic consumed by marine microorganisms such as zooplankton and fish, entering into our aquatic food chain.

Government agencies need to engage directly and equally with all manufacturers and distributors of plastic materials, setting tough rules that will protect the environment even though this may upset them.
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by PeteC » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:19 am

Not really a tip, but an observation. I was thinking that when a kid in the 50's and 60's there was no such thing as a plastic trash bag. Things went into the outdoor trash can loose, and then dumped into the truck. Hosing out the trash can was a weekly chore.

Sometime in the 70's the plastic garbage bag arrived and in one swoop the world has probably added several million tons of plastic waste to landfills, seas, waterways etc. Some of these bags are heavy duty able to hold 20 lbs + of contents, and I would think take decades to decompose.

So, for the sake of cleanliness and convenience society has added massively to the problem.

Solution?...no idea, except for the plastic industry to assure that these large bags are biodegradable, but I don't know how they could do it and still enable it to carry significant weight inside. Pete
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:12 am

Like Pete I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and in the UK everything you bought was put into paper bags. Now everything comes pre packaged in plastic and cardboard or steyrene containers and then put into plastic bags. So often you buy something that may be just a few inches/cms in size but comes in packaging 4 times the size. Why do manufacturers do it - no idea, it surely can’t be consumer demand, so the cost of production is greater and with it, the disposal problem is multiplied. How to get it changed is the problem - does it require political intervention?

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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:51 am

I think back in the 50s and 60s there weren't so many self-service stores. With the event of self service, an item can be handled multiple times before it is purchased. It's food hygiene. Also, the need to keep bugs and vermin from the food.

In the case of non-food items, many items need to be protected for environmental as well physical reasons.

My career anchor was warehousing, and the protection measures required for storage in the Far East were incredible. The rest of the world has slowly caught up to MOD standards, and in many places exceeded. I did some time on a packaging course in Greenwich, and that was a real eye opener. Even dropping a little packet of desiccant into a package keeps a product like new. No packaging, no desiccant, no smart phone. As products become more and more sophisticated, so does the packaging.

How many people were buying smart phones or frozen turkeys back in the 50s?
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Re: Tips for recycling and reducing plastic use in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:07 am

Solution?...no idea, except for the plastic industry to assure that these large bags are biodegradable, but I don't know how they could do it and still enable it to carry significant weight inside. Pete
There is a current program on Australian cable TV called: "War On Waste". Some of the revelations uncovered are amazing! Just sticking with plastic bags they asked the question about "biodegradable bags". One researcher was just about having a fit condemning the use of them as he claims that all they do is break down into much smaller particles, and in fact are WORSE than a standard bag.
East Lansing, and science consultant to the Biodegradable Plastics Institute. "This is the most used and abused and misused word in our dictionary right now. In the Great Pacific garbage patch, biodegradable plastics break up into small pieces that can more easily enter the food chain by being consumed."
[5]

Here in Thailand the only shopping chain that I am aware of using degradable bags is Villa Market. They are labeled as being: ''oxo-biodegradable", "disposed in the natural environment, Sunlight, Heat and Oxygen".
Plastic bags can be made "oxo-biodegradable" by being manufactured from a normal plastic polymer (i.e. polyethylene) or polypropylene incorporating an additive which causes degradation and then biodegradation of the polymer (polyethylene) due to oxidation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxo_Biodegradable

https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/p ... egradable/

http://www.plasticplace.com/blog/5-surp ... astic-bags
Biodegradable bags are bags that are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. Every year approximately 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide.
Like most things, the first step has to be education. The majority of consumers here have absolutely zero knowledge, plus no concern, with the environment or what constitutes pollution in any regard.
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