Connect with us

Phuket

OPINION: A positive step at last for Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET CITY: In a show of public-private sector co-operation, Phuket’s major retailers are working with the government to institute a nominal fee for shoppers who carry off their purchases in plastic bags.

The first of its kind in Thailand, the initiative is a sensible and long overdue attempt to deal with Phuket’s waste management crisis.

With each passing day, approximately 300 tonnes of additional waste – about 20 percent of it plastic – piles up at the landfill around the incinerator at Saphan Hin.

Phuket sells itself as a tropical paradise of sea, sun and sand, but long-suffering residents of nearby Ban Saphan Hin community would be quick to add a fourth ‘s’ to the list – stench.

Also affected are nearby schools and government offices, not to mention the island’s largest and most popular public park. That we truck waste from all over the island through Phuket Town and pile it up there turns the concept of ‘nimby’ (not in my back yard) on its head.

A new incinerator being built nearby is scheduled to go on line next year, but there is no time to spare in reducing the amount of waste we needlessly produce.

Significantly reducing the volume of plastic we use won’t be easy, even with a small financial incentive. For a start, our society seems more dependent on plastic packaging than most others on the planet we share.

Getting mom-and-pop shops, takeaway restaurants and even wet market vendors involved is essential.

A single takeaway meal for four people typically comes with about 20 plastic bags, many of them filled with small amounts of condiments that most of us already have at home.

Many of these are thrown away unopened. The only other common alternative available at most takeaway places is even more unpalatable: foam boxes lined with (you guessed it) plastic.

More environmentally-friendly food packaging alternatives are needed, such as those made of biodegradable bagasse or traditional banana leaf.

If people are forced to pay for all these plastic bags, there is a good chance customers will show up with a pinto (stacked stainless-steel containers) or some other type of reusable container.

With the island’s major retailers finally showing some sense of responsibility, let’s hope they can also be convinced to stop the very wasteful practice of door-to-door distribution of multi-page advertising materials on the island. A major contributor to the waste stream, the majority of these get carted away unread, right next to all the uneaten food.

Why not save on the production and distribution costs, pass the savings on to consumers, and help keep the island clean?

— Stephen Michael Fein

 

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

image

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:

Thailand44 mins ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Thailand2 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

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!

Thailand3 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand5 hours ago

Umbrellas out, more monsoonal rain in the wake of ‘Dianmu’

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Sunday Covid update: 125 deaths and 12,353 new cases

Thailand15 hours ago

Record-breaking 1 million Covid-19 vaccines given yesterday

Technology17 hours ago

Junk messages must now be blocked by Thai mobile carriers

Kanchanaburi19 hours ago

Abusive Kanchanaburi temple rehab centre ordered to close.

Phuket20 hours ago

Phuket begins new subdermal injection method for vaccines

Bangkok21 hours ago

Police bust hotel party with ecstasy and ketamine, 59 arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 5 new deaths and 4 new Sandbox infections

Thailand23 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: full provincial totals

Phuket1 day ago

Phuket man finds 30 million baht surprise on beach: “whale poop”

Tourism4 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy6 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime5 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand5 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines6 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand6 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok5 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Phuket3 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand5 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Pattaya4 days ago

October Pattaya reopening on schedule according to mayor

Crime4 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Phuket7 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand5 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks 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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Trending