Thailand began the new decade by banning single use plastics in major stores and people have had some quirky ways of carrying their shopping round following the changes.
Prior to the new law coming in, Thailand was the sixth worst country for dumping waste into the sea, so the new legislation was evidently much needed. Since the change, they’ve moved down to 10th on the list.
But, unless you’re Dwayne Johnson, most people need something to help them lug their groceries back home and Thai residents haven’t let us down with their innovative ideas.
From buckets and baskets, to suitcases and wheelbarrows – they’re trying everything. Obviously these people haven’t heard of a ‘bag for life’.
The country that has a population of over 69 million says it wants to work towards a total ban by 2021.
The ban that’s part of an ongoing 20-year action plan includes a halt on the use of micro-beads in cosmetics and will soon include plastic straws and cups.
Around 75 major retailers have stopped giving shoppers single-use plastic bags across 25,000 stores nationally, Sky News reports.
The ministry says the country reduced the use of plastic bags by 2 billion, or about 5,765 tonnes last year, in the first phase of campaign to encourage consumers’ voluntarily refusal of plastic bags from stores.
Thailand became increasingly more aware of how plastic was affecting the oceans in particular when beloved dugong Mariam found dead with plastic in its intestines.
The animal had become nationally famous after local people ‘adopted’ it after they discovered the young mammal alone without its parents.
Mariam died in August after falling unwell: following a postmortem of the dugong, doctors deemed its death was due to consuming plastic, Sky News reports.
One of the vets who took care of the dugong, Nantarika Chansue, said on Facebook:
Many pieces of small plastic clogged her intestines and caused inflammation, leading to blood infection and inflamed lungs. Everyone is saddened by this loss, but it reiterates that we need to save the environment to save these rare sea animals.
Thailand isn’t the only country with oceans filled with plastic. Last month, a beach in South Africa was hit by what can only be described as a tidal wave of plastic.
The plastic wave crashed onto already contaminated land from polluted water at a spot near Durban, which is the third biggest city in the country.
Filmed by Josh Redman, the clip shoes hundreds of plastic water bottles being thrown around choppy water as it’s washed onto the beach, which is already strewn with litter.
You can see the video here: