Laying waste to Thailand's bounty

Laying waste to Thailand's bounty

A country long known for its natural beauty is slowly sinking beneath an island of electronic refuse being shipped in from its more affluent neighbours.

The old Thai saying of nai nam mee pla, nai na mee khao (fish in the waters, rice in the fields), which hails the country's abundance of food and natural resources, is barely applicable to modern-day Thailand, as decades of industrialisation and improper e-waste management have risked turning the Land of Smiles into a dumping ground for hazardous materials.

Electronic waste has long afflicted Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, but recent news reports have begun to raise public awareness of the ever-accumulating electronic offal.

A policeman guards mountains of electronic waste during an official check at a recycling plant at Klong Laan, Pathum Thani province. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

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