Thailand imposes total ban on plastic waste imports by 2025 to “protect country”

THAILAND – The government of Thailand has announced plans to enforce a total ban on plastic scrap imports by 2025 in a three-stage plan.

The nation’s intention to stop accepting plastic waste from other countries has been discussed since 2020, according to natural resources and environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who has deemed the move necessary, saying “we need to protect our country.”

“Thailand must not be a dump site for plastic waste. By the end of the next three years, we will not allow any import of plastic scraps from around the world,” he says.

The ban is a part of a greater plastic reduction movement in Thailand, with other measures being set for the future.

The ban comes after the Thai government introduced a ban on four more types of single-use plastics in 2022.

Despite the ban, up to 250,000 tonnes of imported plastic waste from other nations continues to flow into the country annually through the international plastic waste trade, reports Bangkok Post.

The ban will not all be struck down at once but instead carried out in phases over three years, ending with a total ban in 2025.

The first phase will begin in 2023. Thailand will limit the amount of imported plastic scrap based on actual production capacities.

They will measure the needs of 14 significant plants in free trade zones and restrict imports to only what they can use in production.

The second phase will only allow 50% of plastic debris imports, starting in 2024. Other imports to the waste plants outside of the free trade zones must be approved by the subcommittee on plastic and electronic waste management.

The third and final phase is a complete ban on all imports of plastic scraps in 2025.

“This [the three phases plan] is a significant step to make our country clean from plastic waste,” asserts Silpa-archa.

This ban is also part of a larger-scale project from the Department of Pollution Control in Thailand.

The department is set to draft a 2023 to 2027 plastic waste management plan, focusing on four key areas, including removing plastic waste from landfills for recycling by 2027.

Silpa-archa claims that the country produces 24.98 million metric tons of household waste annually, and only 32% is managed correctly.

Thailand has stated that it is committed to reducing the use of single-use plastic in the future.

“This is a significant step to make our country clean from plastic waste,” concludes Silpa-archa regarding the ban.

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