Connect with us


Opinion: Reconsidering our stance on plastic marine pollution

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The current government has made a commendable effort in convincing the European Union (EU) and other international observers that it will impose some order over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) practices in the Thai fishing industry. The fact remains, however, that bureaucrats from Brussels to Bangkok have little to no control over the commercial forces that are turning our seas and oceans into vast repositories for the signature refuse of modern ‘civilization’: plastic debris.

This week’s edition provides a sobering overview of the ever-worsening calamity that is a primary symptom of our collective inability to control our actions – to act in a moderate, sustainable fashion to respect and maintain the environment that supports us all.

It is sad that in a country that announces Buddhism as the state religion, the real teachings of the Buddha, which comprise an almost perfect prescription for sustainability, are almost never applied by state-sanctioned clergy to environmental issues.

In stark contrast, these same clergymen (woman need not apply) also support, promote and financially benefit from clearly non-Buddhist, non-scientific and superstitious beliefs in a way that differs little from ‘playbook capitalism’ when it comes to teaching younger generations about the need to protect the environment.

Our temples should be kept as uncluttered as an enlightened mind. Instead they more often serve as collection points for mountains of plastic and foam rubbish, catering to temple fairs and other such profit-driven, non-spiritual affairs. All of these efforts are foolishly wasted on animistic idolatry and so-called ‘merit-making’ that has nothing whatsoever to do with real Buddhist teachings and, in fact, only reinforces the substrate of consumer-driven attachment that is the driving force that is laying such waste to the environment, both terrestrial and marine.

There is considerable debate in the international scientific community as to whether or not it is correct and/or appropriate to refer to the current geological era as ‘the anthropocene’, defined as ‘the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment’.

It is amazing that so many calories can be burned debating such issues, while so few are expended on actual measures that could help bring obvious environmental problems
under control.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand7 hours ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Hua Hin8 hours ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World9 hours ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand9 hours ago

The Last Dance feat. Mike | Thaiger Bites | September 17

Thailand10 hours ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Thailand10 hours ago

Public Health Ministry defends October 1 reopening

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 14,555 new cases; provincial totals

Crime10 hours ago

Torture and forced disappearances bills pass House vote 368-0

Bangkok11 hours ago

Bangkok Governor: NO reopening October 15 despite PM plans

Pattaya11 hours ago

Thai-Russian 4 year old girl drowns in Pattaya home pool

Phuket12 hours ago

New centre proposed to provide ATKs cheap at Phuket entrance

Thailand12 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Covid Free setting, Pattaya bars might not open | September 17 |

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand Daily Covid Update | Thursday, September 17 |

World12 hours ago

Foreign Minister Don to US for meetings with UN, ASEAN, more

Thailand13 hours ago

The Future of Medical Tourism in Thailand | Good Morning Thailand LIVE | Episode 91

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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