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Thai shoppers get resourceful to deal with the plastic bag ban

Jack Burton

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Shoppers across Thailand are showing typical Thai ingenuity in coping with big retailers’ recent ban on single-use plastic bags, bringing buckets, baskets and even a wheelbarrow to take their purchases home, many posting images on social media (below).

The ban, introduced on January 1 by all 75 members of the Thai Retailers Association, including malls, supermarkets and the ubiquitous convenience stores (7-11 and Family Mart), was a major victory for environmentalists. In Thailand people use an average of eight plastic bags a day.

Whilst the ban will make a big dent it has no impact on the thousands of mum and dad businesses around the Kingdom which use plastic bags to dispense their items.

Many of the pioneer retailers are now offering reusable bags for a small fee (7-11 sell them for 3 baht each), but thrifty shoppers saved money by grabbing anything available and celebrating their ingenuity online.

A man posed at a 7-11 in eastern Thailand with his purchases bundled in food-storage netting borrowed from his mother that she normally uses to dry fish.

“It’s usually used to protect from flies.”

His post gathered more than 5,000 likes.

Thai shoppers get resourceful to deal with the plastic bag ban | News by The Thaiger

Another man smiled as he held a wheelbarrow filled with goods. Two women hefted a pink laundry basket overflowing with their purchases. Other used old rice bags or just recycled the hundreds of bags they’d accumulated over the years. Others brought their suitcases that sit unused between holidays into service for the daily shopping trip.

Thailand has long been one of the biggest contributors plastic pollution in the ocean, but awareness has spread in the last year as photos of dead wildlife, including turtles, dugongs and even whales with plastic bags in their stomachs went viral.

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post

Thai shoppers get resourceful to deal with the plastic bag ban | News by The ThaigerThai shoppers get resourceful to deal with the plastic bag ban | News by The ThaigerThai shoppers get resourceful to deal with the plastic bag ban | News by The Thaiger

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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