Approximately 51,000 tons of the uncollected and improperly disposed plastic waste in Thailand gets washed into the sea each year. Along Thailand’s 3219km coastline – rich in coastal and marine biodiversity – plastic pollution is impacting the beaches, coral zone and mangrove ecosystems.
Causes and challenges
Economic growth – bringing increasing production and consumption – is leading to higher waste generation. Plastic production in Thailand is growing at 2.9 percent annually and it’s increasing. Plastic packaging waste is a major component of the waste found on the beaches in Thailand.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) collection rates in Thailand vary significantly between urban and rural areas. Open dumpsites outnumber sanitary landfill, with open dumping the most commonly used method of MSW disposal. Just 0.5 million tonnes of the plastic waste can currently be reused, whilst the remaining 1.5 million tonnes, (80 percent of which are single-use plastic bags) accumulate in official dumping sites or elsewhere. The unmanaged plasticwaste component of MSW during its collection, transportation and disposal gets leaked into the ocean.
Thailand has strongly committed to address marine litter and plastic pollution. There is a well established and emerging environmental regulatory framework in place, supported by strong acts, plans and regulations. A marine litter and plastic waste master plan is under preparation. Key players in the private sector are involved in circular economy initiatives, as well as supporting recycling and disposal of plastic MSW, industrial and hazardous waste. Civil society organizations have undertaken successful initiatives to address marine litter and plastic pollution. Clear indicators and targets have been identified to reduce single use plastic production, increase recycling rates, improve packaging options and increase consumer awareness.
28 August 2019
Global companies from across the value chain, including plastic manufacturers, held the first Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) forum in SEA.read
26 August 2019
At the 10th Sustainable Development Symposium, SCG announced that 45 partners from the public, private, non-profit and intergovernmental sectors have banded together to form a network to drive the circular economy.read
28 June 2019
Efforts to combat marine litter in South East Asia have been given a boost by the adoption of East Asian Seas Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter.read