The government has affirmed its plan to prohibit plastic scrap imports by 2025, with the ban to be implemented in stages over the next three years.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa made the announcement while chairing a meeting of a subcommittee on plastic and electronic waste management. The meeting was held to discuss the production capacity of plastic scrap-related factories and banning the import of plastic scrap for raw materials in the industrial sector.
Varawut said the ban, which had been considered since 2020, seeks to rid Thailand of plastic waste in a major step towards ensuring public safety and protecting the environment.
He added that the panel agreed that 14 plants located in free trade zones would be authorized to import plastic scrap until 2024. This would be carried out and limited in two phases, with the first phase commencing in 2023 to limit the amount of imported scrap based on actual production capacities. The second phase will begin the year after when just 50% of imports will be permitted, followed by a comprehensive prohibition at all plants in 2025.
According to the minister, Thailand produces 24.98 million tons of residential garbage annually, of which only 32% is treated efficiently.
Varawut also said the government will continue to promote a campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags at department and convenience stores, citing the program’s ability to reduce plastic bag usage by 43% or 150,000 tons over the last two years. (NNT)