When it comes to policy on waste management and recycling, the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration is generally deemed to be progressive. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in 2018 made a landmark decision to slap a ban on the importation of plastics and electronic waste which is to take effect on Jan 1 next year. Previously, the ministry jump-started a voluntary campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in department stores and retailers nationwide. Within one month of the restriction beginning, over 3.7 billion less one-time use plastic bag were used nationally.
Furthermore, the ministry announced it aims to have plastic waste in Thailand recycled 100% by 2027. That is an ambitious plan given the country’s current recycling capacity is only 25% at most.
Yet the goal of 100% recycling may be elusive due to resistance from the plastics industry.