Connect with us


OPINION: Phuket needs to bite the bag charge soon



OPINION: Phuket needs to bite the bag charge soon | Thaiger

PHUKET: The delay of an initiative by 24 island retailers to begin charging for plastic bags comes as a disappointment, especially given all the publicity and fanfare that went into organizing the three-day ‘Phuket Green Island’ event intended to kick off the project last weekend.

According to Phuket Energy Office Chief Jirasuk Tummawetch, the initiative has been put on hold indefinitely while the organizers continue to lobby holdouts 7-Eleven, Tesco-Lotus and Carrefour into signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Organizers hope the scheme will create an ‘all for one and one for all’ mentality among retailers and consumers, raising public awareness about the need to reduce the ever-growing volume of solid waste produced on the island.

Critics of the initiative say that charging just one or two baht for plastic bags won’t be enough to change consumer behavior. Others say it will benefit the retailers at the expense of consumers. Still others point out that plastic bags comprise only a small fraction of the solid waste stream.

All of these objections considered, the Gazette feels the initiative must go forward – for reasons of finally jolting the population into awareness if nothing else. Not sure?

Take a drive from the top of Thailand (Masai) to the bottom (Narathiwat’s border with Malaysia), a distance of 2,290 kilometers. Send us a photo if you can find even a 50-meter stretch of rural road that does not testify to the plague of plastic confronting Thailand’s roughly 66 million people.

Of the earth’s population of 6.7 billion people, almost all consume at least part of an immense array of petroleum-based products. These include not only the obvious things like plastic bags and gasoline, but also the petroleum-based fertilizers we grow our food in and the synthetic textiles we wear. The list is practically endless. Even car tires, which can be made from natural rubber, are now largely made from petroleum-based synthetic rubber.

As a species we are at a real crossroads as we near the end of the fossil-fueled second industrial revolution. The fate of future generations will depend on our ability to radically change the way we produce and use energy, ending our unsustainable dependence on petrochemicals and developing new, more efficient and renewable technologies.

Some hope may lie in increasing global interconnectedness and new technical innovations that might eventually allow us to protect our environment by creating and sharing energy more efficiently, in much the same way we already share files over the internet.

The almost instantaneous global outpouring of aid to Haiti, including significant help from here in Phuket, hints at the type of global civilization we are going to have to build if we want to pass on a sustainable planet to future generations.

We need to start somewhere and now. The plastic bag initiative is a major first step in the right direction.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Politics2 hours ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport4 hours ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Sponsored1 day ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Politics5 hours ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya6 hours ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Tourism6 hours ago

Reopening Thailand has a busy activity schedule

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism7 hours ago

Today is the day! Full post-pandemic Thailand reopening

Pollution8 hours ago

Garbage in canals is worsening flooding in Bangkok

Weather9 hours ago

Hurricane Ian lashes South Carolina

Tourism10 hours ago

5-star squatters evicted from Layan Beach

Video10 hours ago

All you need to know about Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival

Protests10 hours ago

Anti-Prayut rallies expected across Bangkok

What you get for $X1 day ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11