Media 'must help solve waste issue'

Media 'must help solve waste issue'

Media outlets should educate the public about waste management to help reduce the country's waste output, a seminar was told.

The Public Relations Department (PRD), the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and other agencies will promote efficient waste management at an event on June 29, in response to the National Waste Management Master Plan, the weekend gathering was told.

The seminar was also told Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has admitted the government has failed to tackle waste-related issues over the past two years.

He therefore called on the public, state agencies and communities to reduce waste, implement waste sorting techniques and correctly dispose of waste.

The 2016-2020 master plan, approved by the cabinet on May 3, seeks to encourage better waste management. The plan is set to reduce the country's overall waste output by 5% a year, about two million tonnes a year. It also aims to double recycling rates and reduce hazardous waste by 30%.

According to the PCD, Thailand is facing serious problems regarding solid waste management. As of last year, the accumulated volume of waste reached about 26.85 million tonnes -- approximately 73,560 tonnes per day.

Only 4.94 million tonnes were separated and sent to recycling centres nationwide. Only 8.34 million tonnes of waste generated in Thailand has been properly managed in accordance with academic guidelines.

Wichan Simachaya, director-general of the PCD, said waste could carry on growing by 600,000 tonnes a year, due to several factors including a growing population, the economy and tourism.

"If this trend continues to grow, Thailand may need to think about constructing more waste-burning power plants. However it's not that easy as resistance from local communities against such plants is strong. If we cannot build more waste-burning plants or waste collecting centres, where will the tsunami of waste end up?"

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