Cutting back on plastic bags
BANGKOK: -- On the occasion of Earth Day yesterday, the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry launched a campaign to cut plastic-bag consumption in the country by at least 10 per cent. Currently, Thais dispose of 1,800 tonnes of used plastic bags every day.
"We are focusing on plastic bags because they pose a serious threat to the environment," Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said. "If plastic-bag consumption is successfully reduced, carbon dioxide emissions will also drop."
Plastic does not compose on its own and with more than 40,000 tonnes of garbage collected every day, transportation to disposal facilities or landfills also gets expensive.
Suwit hopes the public will co-operate in the campaign, which runs until June 5.
"Plastic bags are a part of people's every day life, and they can make a difference right away," Suwit said.
The campaign has won participation from many businesses, including Foodlands, Villa Market, The Mall, Jusco, Siam Makro, Siam Paragon, Siam Centre, Carrefour, 7-Eleven, Robinson and Big C.
Suwit said his ministry was also planning to manufacture bio-plastic bags that can decompose naturally.
"Although bio-plastic bags cost more to produce, the government might introduce tax measures to help," he said, adding that the government was also adopting many measures to reduce global warming.
"We plan to reduce petrol consumption, increase green areas and introduce carbon labels," he said.
-- The Nation 2009-04-23