Thailand 'on track' to meet plastic recycling targets
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Thailand 'on track' to meet plastic recycling targets

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has expressed confidence that Thailand is on track to recycle all plastic waste by the year 2027.

Thalerngsak Phetsuwan, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, on Wednesday said such efforts are part of the government’s initiatives to reduce plastic consumption under the ministry's plastic waste management roadmap for 2018 to 2030.

The roadmap has been created due to waste management concerns over the increasing number of single-use plastics, Mr Thalerngsak said at a conference, marking Earth Day, which falls on April 22.

The ministry has discussed the issue with the private sector and asked for its cooperation in producing plastic materials that can be recycled. It is expected this will result in single-used thin plastic bags no longer being available in the market due to their limitations for recycling.

The Department of Pollution Control is in the process of drafting a law for facilitating plastic recycling, following the government's bio-circular green economy policy.

"We are now experiencing a shortage of landfills due to the increasing amount of waste, but all waste should be recycled," he said.

Mr Thalerngsak expressed confidence that the plan will be smoothly executed as the country is now ready for green recycling technology. Moreover, the country has already banned importing plastic waste which could help reduce the number of plastic scraps nationally.

Pavich Kesavawong, deputy director-general of the Department of Climate Change and Environment, said that the department fully supports the bio-circular green economy initiative aimed at reducing plastic waste.

He said the department is collaborating with 31 franchised coffee shops and restaurants, totalling 9,530 outlets nationwide, to cease the use of plastic items, including straws and cups.

"We will officially announce the cooperation on Earth Day for creating a new pathway of environmental-friendly consumption, moving ahead to sustainable development," Mr Pavich said.

Earth Day was announced by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to highlight awareness of environmental issues. This year's theme, "Planet vs Plastics", aims to raise global awareness of the plastic waste crisis.

UNEP calls for a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and envisions a plastic-free future for future generations.

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