Thailand has announced that it will ban plastic waste imports into the country from 2021, according to reports, in order to prevent the kingdom from becoming the “world’s next dumping ground”. The announcement was made after the country has seen an increase in waste once destined for China – now re-routed to Southeast Asia following China’s ban on certain waste streams, which includes some plastic and paper that falls below a certain contamination. Thailand’s government has said improving the country’s waste management infrastructure is a priority and set goals for 2021. Measures to be taken will reportedly include cutting the use of plastic bags and bottles in government agencies and businesses, and plastic bans in tourist destinations. A tax on plastic bags has also been mentioned, along with a target to recycle up to 60 percent of plastic by 2021, according to news agency Reuters.
Great sustainable initiative taken by Thailand. The plastic recycling and supply chain now needs to work beyond its legal obligations to address environmental issues and achieve improved resource use. To achieve a truly circular economy, every link in the chain needs to be committed to working in partnership to implement real change and develop end markets for recycled materials.