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Phuket plastic bag plan hits snag

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket plastic bag plan hits snag | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: The ‘Phuket No Shopping Bag’ project was officially launched on Sunday, but a controversial plan by island retailers to begin charging for plastic bags is apparently on hold.

The launch ceremony, which included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), was held at 4:30pm at Central Festival Phuket.

The ceremony was presided over by Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul. Also attending were a number of high-ranking Energy Ministry officials and local politicians including senators Thanyarat Achariyachai and Phummisak Hongsyok, Phuket MP Rewat Areerob, Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop and Phuket Energy Office Director Jirasuk Tummawetch.

About 1,000 people also turned up for the event, which was the highlight of a three-day public awareness campaign aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags and promoting other ‘green’ initiatives, such as recycling and the development of renewable energy technologies.

Many government and private sector organizations had exhibits, which included displays of artificial flowers and other items made from recycled goods. There were also a wide variety of reusable cloth bags for sale.

Plans to create a financial incentive for people to use reusable shopping bags has apparently hit a snag, however.

Although 24 major retailers on the island signed an MoU agreeing to charge one or two baht for plastic bags, the Valentine’s Day launch date has been postponed indefinitely while project organizers continue to lobby three major holdouts to go along with the plan: Tesco-Lotus, 7-Eleven and Carrefour.

Energy office director Mr Jirasuk said representatives of all three are expected to meet with the Phuket governor soon to discuss their possible involvement.

A well-informed source told the Gazette that Carrefour is willing to sign the MoU, but only if Tesco-Lotus does so as well.

A spokesman from CP ALL, which operates all 7-Eleven outlets in Thailand, earlier told the Gazette that it would not charge for plastic bags because it already has a policy of using sunlight-degradable plastic bags at all of its shops in Phuket and other tourist destinations in the region.

Despite this, many 7-Eleven outlets in Phuket not run directly by CP ALL, but through its franchisees, continue to distribute regular plastic bags in large numbers and free-of-charge.

Some retailers are taking their own approaches to encourage the use of reusable bags.

For example, for every purchase over 300 baht at the B2S Bookstore at Central Festival Phuket, if the customer takes the products home using their own bags the store will donate three baht to the United Nations Children’s Fund, better known as UNICEF.

Central has also agreed to donate the proceeds from the sale of plastic bags to environmental protection projects.

Have you been getting charged for plastic bags? If so, be a citizen reporter by sending an email to editor@phuketgazette.net or posting the name of the store in the reader’s forum below.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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