Pattaya shoppers gave up plastic for a day as Thailand made a token effort to reduce its massive plastic-waste problem.
Public officials and volunteers paraded through the Rong Po Market to encourage vendors to use paper or fabric bags on Dec. 4, Thailand’s Environment Day. Most sellers cooperated and shoppers generally looked pleased to give up their usual bags for a day.
The “no plastic bag” campaign was carried out across Thailand with department stores, retail shops and convenient stores refusing to use plastic for a day.
The operator of Central Festival Pattaya Beach and Central Marina said it would not use plastic bags on the fourth of every month. Other shops gave away fabric bags or gave prizes to those shoppers who came with their own fabric bags or baskets.
Thailand is one of the world’s worst plastic polluters. Each year more 45 billion plastic bags, 6.8 billion foam containers and 9.7 billion plastic bottles are disposed of by a nation of 68 million people.