“Thailand produces about two million tonnes of plastic waste per year, or around 12% of total waste, according to the DPC, of which only 25% is recycled.” (source)
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it. If only 25% of the plastic waste is being recycled, where is the rest of it going?
Imagine what would happen if each one of us started to dispose off our recyclable & upcyclable waste to the correct places, and it all got recycled or upcycled instead of being dumped.
I personally don’t agree to Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa’s statement in relation to the increase of plastic waste during COVID-19 battle, “Don’t fight many battles at a time,” (Source)
Instead, I believe it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from our mistakes and shine light on how important and concerning climate change, global warming and plastic pollution is. It’s the time to engage residents of the country and educate them on how to manage situations better.
We cannot wait for one pandemic to be over, while another one is brimming on the horizon. When will we learn? There will be no vaccine to save the Earth, so we must react now.
We got in touch with Khun Metha Senthong (Pop), Coordinator at Less Plastic Thailand, to understand a little more about recycling as well. They are actually doing a great job in educating the local community and bringing awareness in schools.
With help from multiple heads, here is my version of useful tips & suggestions on recycling. At least the best I understand it, and the little I think we can do from our end.
To start, understand that different coloured bins mean different things, depending on where you are. So be sure to ask questions or read what the bin says before using it.
It’s not difficult taking the call to dispose off any waste into 1 of these coloured bins, but your decision actually makes a huge impact.
Help the recycler, recycle more.
Few points to remember when putting items in the yellow bin.
- -Make sure the item is dry.
- -If it’s a bottle or container, rinse it & make sure it’s empty.
- -Separate any labels, helping it separate the recyclers the product reaches.
- -Crush bottles, containers, to make them flat. The less space they consume, the more items can be carried in one truck / round = more items recycled per time.
Imagine a large yellow bin full of dry items like empty plastic bottles, paper bags, newspapers, etc. and 1 person who unknowingly or unaware, drops a half eaten sandwich or an almost finished cup of coffee in it. Gone! All the recyclable products are now contaminated.
Take a minute to think before you react.
Who else can help?
I’d like to give a shoutout to these wonderful groups who are helping us eliminate this waste, and increase recycling/upcycling close to home:
1.Thailandplasticrecycle - accept the plastic bottles (without the caps) in large quantities to recycle them into multiple reusable materials.
2.Preciousplasticbangkok - separate your plastic bottle caps and send them over to these guys, they turn them into beautiful pots & products.
3. Dr.Pow Green Road for your plastic wrappers and bags - you can also support by donating sand or gas to them to help support their cause of recycling the plastic into useable products
4.SCG with it’s Zero Baht Plus Store - where members need to bring trash to the store, and the store offers patronage to them and offers a membership. SCG also has it’s “Correct Sorting, Proper Disposal” units in places like Habito Mall. You can read more about them on our page.
5.Rescuedglass - turn glass bottles into beautiful home decor & products
6.The new recycle collection centre at Siam Paragon - for all kinds of waste. Ranging from Paper, glass, steel, aluminium, mixed hard plastic (milk bottles, shampoo, containers, liquid soap bottles, laundry detergent bags, etc.), stretchy plastic, multilayer plastic, PET plastic bottles & cartons of milk or juice. There’s a lot of stuff they’re helping recycle, so read more on what you need here:(Source)
7.Ms. Joy from CT Recycle: who actually pay you for your antiques, furnitures, wiring, machinery, paper, office equipment etc. that you no longer require in your house or work place
8.Environplast who take up your foam boxes, foam sheets, or any kind of foam and recycle the
9. E Waster Project - for all your electronic waste to be disposed off correctly without damaging anything or anyone in the process
10.swaptilyoudropbkk - for your clothes, bags, shoes, accessories that you love but don’t use anymore.
11.N15 Technology through SPEED-D & 7-11, one of the most convenient ways to recycle food wrappers, foil packaging, plastic-coated paper, toothbrushes, pens, plastic cosmetic packaging, cloth underwear too!
12. CirPlas for plastic utensils, yogurt cups & drinking bottles, and lots of other items!
13.Home of Grace, Community Store for any of your pre-loved clothes, accessories. electronics you don’t need anymore and are still in working/good condition.
14.Trash Lucky for aluminium and plastic wastes.
15.Lastly, this amazing amazing group called Bangkok Recycling Chain OFFICIAL - Trade Consumables & Recyclables - there is so much positivity and wonderful exchanges on this group. If you have any question about any particular item that needs to be recycled, given away - this is your place. Join the group today and become part of such a great bunch of people!
“The garbage found along Thai coastlines is made up of 16% plastic bags, 10% plastic bottle caps and 7% straws.” [amongst many other things]. (Source)
With so many places available to recycle, I don’t see why this number can’t decrease!
Reach out to any of these heroes if you have any of the above items, or simply get in touch with us at Bambooyst if you need any help locating a recycler of any other items.
Let’s do this together, small and simple steps in making our planet a better place for ourselves and the future generation!
Keep reading, and keep supporting!!