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26 Apr 2022

Econ Digest

7 types of plastic waste that must be 100% recycled


        Plastics are widely used in our daily life, including consumer products, plastic bags, water bottles, straws, toys, plates, food packaging, etc., so the use of plastics inevitably generates a large amount of waste. The total amount of plastic waste in 2016 was 242 million tons. The top three countries and regions with the most plastic waste were the United States, the European Union and India, while Thailand was ranked 12th (4.8 million tons). However, the commonly used plastics are inherently non-biodegradable and need to be disposed of by incineration or landfill, thus causing pollution to water, soil and air. Figures from the city of Bangkok show that plastic waste was as high as 3,440 tons per day during April 2020, a 62% increase from April 2019, due to the growing popularity of food delivery and online shopping services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but only 19% of plastic was recycled, with the rest causing pollution.

        Thailand itself is working hard to reduce the problem of single-use plastic waste. The Thai government has set a roadmap to stop using seven types of plastics through cooperation between government departments, the private sector and the public, namely, to stop using oxo-plastics, plastic caps for drinking water bottles and microbeads by 2019, to stop using thin plastic bags, foam boxes for food packaging, disposable plastic cups and plastic straws by 2022, and to switch to plastic made of environmentally friendly materials, as well as to set a target that the above 7 types of plastic waste will be 100% recycled by 2027.

        In 2020, the total value of Thailand’s plastics industry is THB 1 trillion, accounting for 6.4% of the GDP, of which the plastic processing industry is worth THB 850 billion. KResearch believes that in the future, operators in the plastics industry will face domestic and foreign measures and regulations to control their products and their impact on the environment. Operators should speed up improvements in production processes and adopt more environmentally conscious management principles throughout the life cycle of plastics, from design and plastic management during production processes, to eco-design that does not affect the environment (Eco-Design), plastic management during consumption and post-consumer plastic disposal. In addition, operators can also take advantage of existing government support measures such as industry support policies under the Bio-Circular Green Economy Model (BCG).

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Econ Digest