Plastic bag ban begins, population surprisingly compliant

While this ban hasn't been officially made a law, certain parts of Thailand are engaging in a plastic bag ban in certain retail stores such as 7-11, Big-C, and Tesco Lotus. I thought that the public would be upset about this but everyone seems to be pretty excited about it and willing to take part.

For me personally, I always did avoid plastic bags and none of them were used a single time and then discarded. My bags were always used many times and only reached their final destination once they contained dog poo poo.


Now I am a cynical person so while i do think that eliminating throwaway plastic bags is definitely a good thing, i don't believe that the major super-centers are really in this for the betterment of the environment. They will be saving tons of money by not needing to give away plastic bags for free.

However, the big stores have made some effort to counteract this pessimistic perception that is shared by many other people and not just me.


Big C for example, had a first wave of reusable bags made of recycled materials for a mere 3 baht each. There is no way any profit is being made on this. Now, the same bags are for sale for 19 baht, which is still really cheap.

Other stores such as luxury grocery stores like Rimping, offer cloth or canvas bags that require only a 50 baht deposit, that will be returned to customers any time they choose.

Other people have hilariously adapted in other ways.


There is no doubt in my mind that the plastic bag problem in Thailand is immense and the Kingdom is one of the dreaded top-5 ocean polluting countries in the world along with Vietnam, India, China, and Indonesia.

While I think this ban will have an overall negligible effect since the major problem behind this pollution is a lack of effective waste disposal systems, it is a step in the right direction and at least makes the population somewhat conscious of making better choices in their day to day life.

another inventive yet, not terribly convenient, transportation option

I say that this will not make much of an impact because look at the contents of both the wheelbarrow and the suitcases above. Virtually everything in them either is wrapped in plastic or is in a plastic bottle of some sort. If waste management remains shite (and i suspect it will since it hasn't even been mentioned by the government,) those things will still end up in the ocean.

It's better than nothing though, and I am not going to be one of those guys that says "if it isn't perfect than it isn't worth doing." Well done Thailand, and the Thai people.

Comments 19

Lol... The guy with the barrow still has me laughing. Am not too surprised they've been compliant though, education kinda does such a thing. I think most Thai people are aware about the effects to the environment so aren't really afraid of a few sacrifices. Big kudos to them anyways

04.01.2020 17:50

it's a step in the right direction. I don't know about the education. I was an educator here and would routinely see my students intentionally litter in the school-yard.

05.01.2020 02:17

My thoughts exactly! Its mind boggling. I am in the super market, and someone is in front of me, acting righteous because they are opting out of using a plastic bag, but i look behind me, and i see a sea of plastic! Its sickening. I think it is to make it seem like corporations, and governments are doing something good, keeping us distracted from the real issues. But the point you brought up about them saving money, is a very valid thought.

04.01.2020 18:47

well, the products can't really be packaged in anything else. Plastic is here to stay I'd imagine. I guess there are quite a few things that could be put into glass or aluminum containers, but would the public be willing to deal with that? No more squeezable cleaning product bottles? Nah, we need those. But I'm happy they are doing SOMETHING... because Thailand has had a IDGAF attitude for far too long.

05.01.2020 02:16

I had always heard and read about say no to plastic, how it is affecting environment and all, but to be honest this is the first time I am reading about how alternative solutions are being actively used. Pat on the back of these wonderful people, Hope everyone gets inspired by them.
Keep flourishing.

04.01.2020 19:52

Enjoyed your post and opinions about plastic bags; I heard about Thailand making a starting effort to help reduce toxic, plastic waste.

My food market of choice here in the U.S. charges ten cents per bag (plastic) which are rugged enough to get many re-uses from, which I do, or load my groceries into a cloth sack.

Ciao, Have a happy day.

05.01.2020 00:58

that's great news, 10 cents for a rugged bag is a really good price. It's nice to see the world getting smart or at least pretending that they are for a while.

05.01.2020 02:12

Me thinketh they pretend mostly :>)

06.01.2020 04:50

Like you said it's not all perfect but it's a step forward by Thailand and the eco system 👍

05.01.2020 12:49

One of the biggest stores near us called Meijer did that as well. When they first introduced the reusable bags they were selling them for a dollar a piece and it was buy one get one free. Now, years later if you want to buy more they are more like $4 per bag. It is still totally worth it, but it is just funny how they gouged the price after the early adopters bought in. I personally use all of the different kinds of bags for different things. Like you said, it is handy to have the plastic ones laying around in our vehicle and our camper for dog poo. Then we use the paper bags for storing our recycled goods in the house before we take them out to the curb. Finally, we have about ten reusable bags that we use pretty much every week for groceries.

06.01.2020 13:58

Plastic isn't going anywhere. I think the world is going through a phase right now and in denial (it's not just a river in Egypt!) about how the problems with pollution aren't necessarily bags at supermarkets or Starbucks straws, but how this waste is handled after the fact.

Unfortunately, I feel as though this wave of changes is most likely PR and also cost-savings for the businesses rather than something that is actually geared towards any sort of planetary benefit. I'm a cynic though, so i would think that.

06.01.2020 16:08

You are probably partially right. I doubt they would be doing much of anything if there wasn't some form of profit in it for them.

06.01.2020 16:14

I am so happy to see them moving in that direction. I won't kick a gift horse in the mouth either.

Most of the grocery stores in the Washington, DC metro area have gone bagless of reusable in the last 5 years. (they should have been first, darn it!) As you said, it is a step in the right direction and once people are trained, they will come up with better methods.

Everyone still uses way too much plastic and this was supposed to be an improvement from the returnable bottles of yesteryear, but, at what cost?

When do you leave for your next adventure???


06.01.2020 23:00
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06.01.2020 23:00

in my place people are very far from this idea... it will come here in 5 years at least..
a boy with in a photo is cool but..doesn't he have plastic inside of his "transport"? I mean bottles

06.01.2020 23:39

yes, and that is true all around the world and simply the way that life is now. Plastic is part of our lives in a very major way.

07.01.2020 02:29

I even have a small dream to have 3d printer at home to make plastic things for my household
have you ever tried it? are these printers popular in your place?

07.01.2020 21:03

I'm sure they have them somewhere but i don't have one nor do i know anyone that does have one.

08.01.2020 03:08

Haha! I agree gooddream, it's a start. I like the idea of taking luggage to the grocery store! Kudos are in order for the government there.

10.01.2020 03:15