Today is the first day of the ban on single use plastic bags at 75 popular retailers in Thailand

Starting today, 75 department stores, convenience stores and other shops with more than 24,500 branches nationwide have agreed to stop giving away single use plastic bags and from today they will stop giving these bags away for free. This includes some of the biggest players such as Big C, 7-11 and Family Mart.

As well as the “Every Day Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) has introduced a 20 year-action plan on plastic waste management from 2018-2037, which includes measures to stop Thais using seven plastic items and types.

A ban on plastic straws and cups is due due to take effect next year as well according to the Thai Government.

Locally, there is concern by many in Pattaya that the retailers who have committed to the stop plastic campaign may not be completely ready for the change. Some retailers will be providing plastic bags for a small fee, some have switched to paper bags and many offer reusuable bags.

There is concern from some franchise owners of the larger chain stores that customers may buy less items and spend less if they are not given a reasonable alternative to plastic bags.

It remains to be seen how successful the program will be but day one officially launches today to start off 2020.

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