Thailand

Thailand is the world’s sixth biggest contributor of marine plastic litter. There is an abundant leakage of plastic waste into water, waste water and drainage systems accross the country.

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.

Ways forward

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.

News

First Alliance to End Plastic Waste forum held in South East Asia

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.

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Siam Cement Group (SCG) promotes a more circular economy

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.

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Action plan on marine litter is agreed for South East Asia

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.

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Events

SEA of Solutions 2019 – Partnership week for marine plastic pollution prevention

11-14 November 2019

SEA of Solutions 2019 is bringing together governments, business leaders, scientists, UN agencies and community groups, to dialogue on solutions for marine plastic pollution.

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Twenty-fourth Intergovernmental Meeting of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA)

19 - 20 June 2019

The 24th Intergovernmental Meeting of the COBSEA was held in June 2019, back to back with the meeting of the COBSEA Working Group on Marine Litter.

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Thailand Stakeholder Consultation on Reducing Marine Litter by Addressing the Management of the Plastic Value Chain in Southeast Asia

7 June 2019

SEA circular held a Thailand Stakeholder Consultation on Reducing marine litter by addressing the management of the plastic value chain in South East Asia.

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