By The Nation
Plastic waste is today considered a major environmental crisis, with much of the problem caused by the reliance on plastic bags.
Plastic bags take almost 500 years to degrade and accumulate in landfills or the natural environment with severe negative impacts on the ecosystem. In Thailand, which is heavily burdened by plastic waste, both the government and private sectors are focusing on environmental campaigns that invite consumers to say no to plastic bags when buying goods from stores.
The situation has led FamilyMart employees to launch the “Green FamilyMart” campaign to promote awareness among Thai consumers of the need to protect natural resources.
Chiranun Poopat, president of Central FamilyMart, says that environmental preservation and sustainability are among the key missions of Central FamilyMart and all other subsidiaries of the Central Group. Activities include giving directions to employees to separate the garbage before leaving, as well as to reduce and stop the single use of plastic bags. The Green FamilyMart committees are committed to play a role in restoring natural resources and not create waste or pollution.
“Over the past several years, we have worked together with our customers, the government sector and local communities on many campaigns, such as the sorting of wet garbage at Koh Samui. This has resulted in the reduction of up to 30 tonnes of wet garbage per annum and allowed processing of biogas for schools on the island. ‘Every No Bag’ is another activity and here we ask for cooperation from our customers to say no to plastic bags while also reducing the number of plastic bags given out at our stores throughout the country. A ‘No Bag Store’ campaign has been launched at selected FamilyMart stores. Other activities include the campaign for reduction of plastic bags in Phuket in cooperation with local communities, and the company’s involvement in the government’s project encouraging people to stop using plastic bags on the fourth day of every month.
“We were able to reduce the amount of plastic bags by more than 30 per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year. For 2019, Green FamilyMart plans to expand its campaign in order to reduce plastic bags in many other areas in collaboration with other companies under the Central Group to underline its commitment to caring for the environment and building sustainability.
“We are also aiming to reduce the amount of plastic bags offered by the FamilyMart stores by another 30 per cent this year,” said Chiranun.
Today, to mark Earth Day, FamilyMart is launching an activity to show its involvement in environmental protection by not offering plastic bags to customers at its stores nationwide. The company has also organised an internal campaign to encourage staff to turn off the electricity for one hour.
FamilyMart operates about 1,010 stores, half of them energy saving outlets. Over the past four years, FamilyMart has reduced its electricity consumption by 80 million units and reduced its carbon footprint by more than 80,000 tonnes.