Five years ago, the average person in Thailand produced 300g of rubbish a day. Today that figure stands at 1.15kg, an almost four-fold increase that can only partly be blamed on the proliferation of coffee chains and convenience stores.
The end result is obvious, and it came as a shock to no one last week when Natural Resources and Environment Minister Vichet Kasemthongsri said Thailand was producing more waste than ever. Also unsurprising was an admission, which seemed to get lost in the haze of the week-long toxic fumes emanating from the Samut Prakan fire, that the vast majority of waste facilities in Thailand are operating outside official guidelines. Mr Vichet should also have said they are woefully inadequate.
The fire, at its worst consuming more than 100 rai of household and industrial trash, occurred on private land that had operated outside the country’s official waste-management framework. As today’s Spectrum reveals, because the site is on private land there is little authorities can do. Police say they have no jurisdiction, the Tambon Administration Organisation can only issue fines.
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