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BANGKOK 22 March 2019 04:41
elektrified

Time to bring your own shopping bags. Thailand appears serious now.

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I remember 20 years ago in the UK the issue of plastic bags was full of claims by some about how they wouldn't cope without free bags. It started with some supermarkets offering you  a penny off your shopping for each bag you brought, that incentive got a fair percentage doing it. Also 'bag for life' a stronger plastic bag you could replace for free if it wore out. And finally the 5p a bag charge. Bag use dropped considerably. Some bagmoaners claimed that they always forgot to take bags with them and were buying more expensive stronger bags which they still threw away, so they were wasting more plastic. Obviously there will always be some idiots like that, i STILL have a black woven bag i bought for 25p 15 years ago, must have done a few hundred shopping trips with that.

 

No one forces you to bring your own bags, but it takes economic sense as well as environmental sense to do so......

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41 minutes ago, Moonlover said:
19 hours ago, impulse said:

The issue being, of course, that the vast majority of the Thai population doesn't have a car to haul their empty bags around...

Ok, so how does this 'vast majority of Thais' who cannot get empty bags to the store get full ones home again?

 

There's a difference between hauling something around in case you need it, and hauling it home when you did use it.

 

I actually shopped differently when I knew I would be hauling it all back home on a scooter taxi (5 minute ride) vs hauling it home in a taxi or my pickup (often 20+ minutes of traffic for the same distance). On a scooter, I limited myself to 3 plastic bags' worth.  In a taxi, I would go wild and walk out with 10 bags of groceries and cleaning supplies.

 

One of the things I liked about Thailand is the way people shopped for today's dinner, as opposed to shopping for a week's worth at a time.  And the way that shopping missions were more often spur of the moment than some planned excursion.  In which case, I often took scooter taxis and was limited to whatever I had in my pockets- which meant no big burlap shopping sacks, much less 3 or 4 of them.  Bottom line, carrying around a cloth sack (or 10 of them) requires advance planning.  I loved living in Thailand for the spontaneity.  And I think that any shop that neglects that custom by withholding plastic bags will see their bottom line suffer.   

 

Maybe it works in Europe, but they're on an entirely different level when it comes to the environment and the economics of protecting it.  Thailand needs to fix a glaring problem with the infrastructure for handling solid waste before they even think about banning plastic bags.  Maybe in a decade or 2...

 

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2 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Central was still using plastic bags when we went shopping there today.

 

 

Would that be Central Festival Mall, Central Airport Plaza, or Central Kad Suan Kaew?

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Just now, FolkGuitar said:

 

Would that be Central Festival Mall, Central Airport Plaza, or Central Kad Suan Kaew?

 

Central Chidlom BKK.

 

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I went into a Tesco mini mart on the 4th to buy wine and whisky and there was a sign saying that they would not be providing plastic bags on the 4th of each month, but I still ended upcoming out with 4 plastic bags. What is the logic of only 'supposedly' operating this ban on one day a month?? 

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4 hours ago, cheshiremusicman said:

I went into a Tesco mini mart on the 4th to buy wine and whisky and there was a sign saying that they would not be providing plastic bags on the 4th of each month, but I still ended upcoming out with 4 plastic bags. What is the logic of only 'supposedly' operating this ban on one day a month?? 

 

Perhaps the notion of trying to get Thais to stick their toe into the proverbial no-plastic bags pool, before eventually getting them to immerse their entire body in the new no plastic bags approach.

 

Or, alternatively, perhaps they'll stick with the one day a month approach, and being good Thai bureaucrats, will consider their anti-plastic bags campaign done and a smashing success....

 

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39 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

Perhaps the notion of trying to get Thais to stick their toe into the proverbial no-plastic bags pool, before eventually getting them to immerse their entire body in the new no plastic bags approach.

 

Or, alternatively, perhaps they'll stick with the one day a month approach, and being good Thai bureaucrats, will consider their anti-plastic bags campaign done and a smashing success....

 

Agree, this needs to be a step by step approach, with some goals and quick gains and no fall back.

 

A while back my Thai son's MIL and SIL were visiting and there was a no plastic bags item on the Thai TV news.

 

The two older ladies were annoyed and said there's no problem then both said it's not possible to live without plastic bags.  My son had been the news item a bit earlier and remembered some of the statistics about the very tiny total numbers of plastic bags used per day / year in some scandinavian countries.

 

Response: it's no possible.

 

But just recently the same 2 ladies were visiting and went with us to Lotus, the day they had no plastic but did have big paper bags and the meat products were wrapped in a kind of grease proof paper with sticky tape to hold the package closed.

 

The 2 older ladies were shocked - son then said 'can be the same in the wet market', they looked at each other and didn't say another word.

 

 

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I sell plastic bags outside of all supermarkets!!!   5 baht for 3 bags!!!  I'm making soo much money!!!

 

Yes, I'm Thai so I don't need a work permit.  

 

Plus I sell bags that say "no more bags" and stickers and t-shirts and run a group against plastic bags.  feel free to donate.  10,000 baht minimum.  

 

get that money!!! 

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18 hours ago, rickudon said:

No one forces you to bring your own bags, but it takes economic sense as well as environmental sense to do so......

I just tell my girlfriend and other Thais that the woven bags are much more comfortable to carry when full than the plastic bags. They can understand that, but economic or environmental arguments go in one ear and out the other........

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2 minutes ago, MikeN said:

I just tell my girlfriend and other Thais that the woven bags are much more comfortable to carry when full than the plastic bags. They can understand that, but economic or environmental arguments go in one ear and out the other........

At least if you told Van Gogh the same thing, it would go in one ear and stay there...

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