The PM called on people to help with the effort by shopping with cloth bags, pointing out that with less waste, the government will not have to increase the budget for waste disposal and there will be fewer burdens on the state agencies involved.
“I urge everyone to reduce their use of plastic bags by shopping with cloth bags,” he said.
General Prayut said the government has set a target of reducing the country’s overall waste output by 5 per cent, or approximately two million tonnes per year, in order to bring the number down to about 23 million tonnes per year.
“As for our efforts to solve waste management issues, I have tried to expedite progress in this area for the past two years, but the results have not been up to pace,” General Prayut said.
He was speaking in his weekly national TV show “Returning Happiness to People in the Country”.
The prime minister said he had tasked the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with creating a joint action plan on waste management for June 2016 to June 2017.
Separate waste to cut garbage
He called on the public, state agencies and other establishments to join in the effort to separate waste in order to help reduce garbage.
“It starts from fostering a sense of awareness on the reduction of waste that is hard to disintegrate such as plastic bags.
“I also have a policy on how many plastic bags we need to reduce each month,” he said. The government would enact policies that will coincide with the agenda of reducing plastic bags and separating waste, the PM said.
“I’ve seen programmes at some department stores where plastic bottles and cups can be turned in for money,” he said. “This is one of the examples of how to recycle and reduce waste.
“We need to be mindful not to be spendthrifts on plastic items. Another thing to do is to dispose of food content before you throw away foam or plastic food containers, in order to be considerate to the person who is disposing of your garbage.
“I would like this year to be one where we can successfully reduce waste in Thailand. “We can set goals of, let’s say, 30 to 50 per cent for the years 2016-17.”