Thailand bans single-use plastics in national parks

Head of bird with plastic around it, plastic pollution
Plastic waste on bird, photo: Canva

Thailand on Wednesday banned single-use plastics and styrofoam packaging from national parks to save its wildlife. Waters off the coast of Thailand are full of plastic waste.

The ban is necessary to protect animals and nature, the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said.

People carrying plastic bags, plastic food containers, cups, straws, and cutlery in parks can be fined up to 100,000 baht ($3,000).

Plastic waste threatens Thailand’s wildlife, Greenpeace Thailand said. Eating plastic can block animals’ intestines and disrupt their digestive system. Plastic bags have been found in elephants’ faeces in Khao Yai National Park.

Plastic pollution on land also gets into waterways and threatens river ecology and marine life. According to the campaign group Ocean Conservancy, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines produce half of all the plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

In 2020, Thailand banned the sale of single-use plastic bags at supermarkets and department stores, but they are still handed out by smaller retailers, street food vendors and cafes.

By 2027, the Thai government wants only 100 percent recyclable plastic to be used in the country.

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