Environmentalists concerned with rise of takeaway trash during lockdown

PHOTO: Unsplash: Lucas Van Oort

How much plastic do you toss in the garage bin when you’re done eating your takeaway order? An environmentalist says 1 person throws away about 1.5 kilograms of trash each day.

With many stuck at home during the lockdown period, food delivery sales skyrocketed, but so did the amount of trash each person throws away. Thai environmentalists are concerned and are now calling on the government to do something about it. Thailand’s plan is to recycle 100% of its plastic waste by 2030.

Since no international tourists have been able to travel to Thailand, the overall amount of trash has remained low, but the amount of plastic waste generated by a single person has increased, according to Thailand Environment Institute President Wijarn Simachaya.

In Bangkok, waste from takeaway orders made up 62% of all the waste generated in the lockdown. Since restaurants have opened up, trash from food deliveries has gone down by 30%.

Trash is still ending up in Thailand’s rivers and in the sea. Wijarn says the government should collaborate with manufacturers and waste disposal companies to come up with an improved waste management system.

Greenpeace Thailand’s head of the campaign against plastic waste, Pichamon Rakrod, says the production of single-use plastic items should be reduced, or even stopped altogether. She says single-use plastic manufacturers should use more environmentally friendly materials in their products.

Other environmental academics say Thailand should look at other countries’ plastic management policies to get an idea about what policies would be right for Thailand. Some say a tax on plastic could even help decrease the use of single-use plastic bags.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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