Connect with us


Phuket trash crisis: Tesco goes it alone

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Tesco Lotus yesterday launched its own answer to Phuket’s long-delayed plastic bag charging scheme.

The UK-based retail chain’s “Green Bag Green Point” initiative rewards customers who reuse old shopping bags with points which can be exchanged for cash coupons.

Customers also receive “green points” when they buy certain environmentally friendly products.

The project was launched in Bangkok on March 19 and kicked off in Phuket at the Tesco Lotus superstore on the Bypass Rd yesterday.

Saofang Ekaluckrujee, senior corporate affairs manager at Lotus, said the company felt it had a responsibility to do its part in reducing waste, though every organization had different policies on how to achieve this.

Lotus believes incentives are most effective, she said.

Under the pre-existing Tesco Lotus Club Card scheme, customers receive one point for every two baht they spend in the company’s stores. One thousand points can be exchanged for a 10-baht cash coupon.

Under the Green Bag Green Point project, customers will be rewarded with one point every time they use their own bag, rather than a new one.

The scheme will essentially reward customers with one-hundredth of a baht for every bag they reuse.

The company is not yet selling cloth bags at its Phuket stores, meaning customers will have to supply their own or reuse plastic bags.

Customers will also receive 25 points when they buy any of 118 environmentally friendly products, which include light bulbs, garbage bags, mosquito repellent, paper, correction fluid and toilet cleaner.

A Tesco spokesman said the chain had gone forward with an incentive scheme rather than plastic bag charging because this was the policy of its UK-based parent company.

In the UK, green points have been long established for many years – and they work. The vast majority of people [in the UK stores] bring their own bags,” he said.

Phuket Vice Governor Smith Palawatwichai, who chaired the project opening ceremony, said Phuket was producing around 600 tonnes of trash every day but had the capacity to incinerate just 260 tonnes.

Thank you to Tesco Lotus for joining the province in reducing the use of plastic bags by launching the project,” he said.

An island-wide plastic bag charging scheme, ‘Phuket No Shopping Bag’, remains on hold because retailers are refusing to go ahead until Tesco Lotus, Carrefour and 7-Eleven agree to take part.

The chief of the Phuket Energy Office, Jirasuk Tummawetch, said he still hoped Tesco would sign the MoU promising to charge for plastic bags, despite the launch of its own project.

Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop is writing to the company’s head offices asking for it to participate, Mr Jirasuk said.

Nick Anthony, managing director of Indigo Real Estate and one of the driving forces behind ‘Phuket No Shopping Bag’, said he remained positive that Tesco and the other hold-outs could be brought on board “within the next few weeks”.

Approaches had been made to Tesco “at multiple levels” with regard to the scheme, he said.

Mr Anthony also suggested individuals who supported the scheme should approach Tesco store managers and make their support for bag charging known.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Carrefour is only willing to join the scheme if Tesco Lotus does.

7-Eleven also refuses to sign the MoU, saying that it already issues biodegradable plastic bags.

— S Nongkaew & D Waites


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

Pattaya12 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 |

World13 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