Thailand is one of the countries which imports the waste of others. However, this is going to stop very soon. And the UK in particular will face a problem with that, as it must find somewhere else for the thousands of tons of plastics it currently sends to the country for recycling each month. You didn’t know waste disposal can be a business? Here you go. Global waste trade is a booming business, bringing a regrettable aftermath.
The main exporters right now are the UK, Japan and the United States. These countries have increased their reliance on Thailand as a “plasticdumping destination” after China stopped importing plastic rubbish and electronic scrap, like keyboards or wires, in January. “The amount coming in has increased since China banned plastic,” Banjong Sukreeta, deputy director of Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works, said. “We will ban it within two years.”
China’s ban has led to surging imports of plastics. The country’s growing mountain of foreign waste has started to cause a reaction from the public opinion after a spate of pollution complaints from local communities. Thailand now joined its neighbor countries like Malaysia and Vietnam in stopping on importing. South-East Asia is closing its doors to foreign waste.
An environment official said that Thailand would need around two years to implement the ban. There are still some running import licenses until 2021. At the same time Thailand finally needs to set up an efficient system to sort its own plastic correctly. “We don’t have an efficient collection system for domestic waste,” Rintawat Sombutsiri, Director of Industrial Waste Management in the Department of Industrial Works, said. “We need two years for our pollution control department to set up a system for collecting plastic waste.”
Greenpeace’s oceans campaigner Elena Polisano mentioned: “More and more countries are having enough of being used as dumping grounds for our plastic waste. This is becoming a global game of pass the parcel where the last country gets all the plastic packaging and a nasty surprise. Britain should stop shipping off its plastic scrap thousands of miles away and instead tackle the problem at home by cutting the amount of throwaway plastic being produced.”
If we all started to think about new ideas of how we can replace plastic in our day-to-day life, waste wouldn’t need to be shipped around the whole globe destroying already instable and poor countries. Swedbrand’s first step towards a cleaner future was the introduction of recyclable, biodegradable and compostable alternatives to conventional packaging solutions. Every single person and company can do their part in the fight against plastic pollution!