Thailand's 7-Eleven stores to stop giving plastic bags from Jan. 2020

Consumers are encouraged to bring their own bags.

Kayla Wong | October 30, 2019, 05:42 PM

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven in Thailand will stop handing out plastic bags to customers from January 2020.

According to Bangkok Post, large retailers, department stores, and even plastic manufacturers have all agreed to stop distributing single-use plastic bags from early 2020.

The list of major operators include CP All, which owns all 7-Eleven stores in Thailand, as well as the country's largest retailer, Central Group and Aeon (Thailand) Co.

In addition, styrofoam food packages and other single-use plastic items, such as straws and cups will be banned by the beginning of 2022.

Campaign should have been done "long ago"

Thai environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced on Sep. 6 that this move would help Thailand leave the list of major generators of waste and sea garbage, Bangkok Post reported.

He also said consumers "must prepare to bring their own bags to carry things".

"This type of campaign should have been done long ago," he said. "We have spent so much time trying to negotiate. At last, we made it."

Thailand produces a lot of plastic trash

Thailand is the sixth largest generator of sea waste.

Environmental group Greenpeace told Reuters that 75 billion pieces of plastic bags end up in the waste each year in Thailand.

Half of these reportedly come from malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores, while the other half come from local markets, mom-and-pop shops and street vendors.

Cooperation from these retail giants would help reduce single-use plastic usage by 30 per cent, Varawut said.

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Top image via MGR Online