Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Thailand must wake up to its plastic challenge 

Jun 02. 2018
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Re: “Rescued Pilot Whale in Songkhla Dies with 8kg of plastic in Stomach”, The Nation, June 2.

What a terrible, heart-wrenching story – the death of a pilot whale found to have a stomach full of plastic.

When is Thailand going to wake up to the incredible damage its irresponsible use of plastic is doing to the environment? Everywhere you look, there are rivers and klongs stuffed with plastic and polystyrene waste, which washes into the sea, where it takes its terrible toll on marine life. The big supermarket chains continue willy-nilly to thrust produce into plastic bags, even when it is obviously not necessary. At my local Tesco Lotus I can buy grapes already put into a plastic bag. When I take them to be weighed the shop assistant wants to stuff them into yet another plastic bag, and when I reach the check out counter, yet a third bag.

I have been into 7-Eleven stores and seen a man buy a packet of cigarettes, which the sales assistant dutifully put into a plastic bag. The man walked out, took the cigarettes out of his pocket and threw the plastic bag on the street. This madness must stop.

Many countries are now banning plastic bags, or imposing a heavy impost on their use. The European Union is on the verge of banning all plastics. 

Thailand is long overdue to open its eyes, realise the foolishness of inaction, and follow suit.

David Brown


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