Thammasat U aims to cut plastic garbage by 50 percent in a year

Thammasat Univerity aims to cut back the use of plastic bags on the campus by 50 percent within a year after launching a campaign to phase out single-use plastic bags on June 1.

Assistant Professor Prinya Thevanarumitkul, vice rector for sustainability and management of Rangsit Centre of the university, said Tuesday that the university had gone beyond phasing out only single-use plastic bags as there are several disposable plastic products that need to be phased out too such as plastic spoons and forks, plastic cups and straws which are a global problem.

Plastics, he said, make up of 80 percent of garbage generated on the campus estimated at about 2,400 tonnes a year by about 40,000 students with about 6.5 million plastic bags generated by convenience stores on campus.

He said that free distribution of plastic bags given by convenience stores would stop and if customers want a bag, he or she must pay for it and the stores may offer a discount for customers who bring their own cups to buy coffee.

Convenience stores now lend out cotton bags to customers to carry goods bought from the stores and ask their customers whether they want plastic bags or not as part of the effort with the university to reduce the use of plastic bags.

The manager of one convenience store said most customers were cooperative with the campaign although there were cases of some customers who were not happy when they were not given plastic bags apparently unaware of the campaign.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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