Central Food Hall and Tops on Monday announced a complete “Plastic Bag Free” day in all 193 branches nationwide on July 3, as part of “International Plastic Bag Free Day”.
The Marine and Coastal Resources Department, meanwhile, has revealed that a survey of plastic pollution from January to June found that the amount of garbage found in the waters off Thailand’s coastal provinces had increased, and that most of that waste was made up by plastic bags – with 15,154 pieces found.
Including other plastic waste, the total amount of plastic trash found during the six-month exercise totalled more than 60,000 pieces.
Central Food Hall and Tops have acknowledged the problem and responded to the government’s “Reducing Plastic Bags Campaign” by announcing a 100-per-cent “Plastic Bags Free” day next Tuesday.
The supermarket chain expects to reduce the use of plastic bags by some 500,000 units that day alone.
Phattaraporn Phenpraphat, executive vice president for marketing & public relations of Central Food Retail, said: “The world is drowning in an ever-growing amount of garbage and plastic, and the problem is getting worse every year … Without proper waste-management strategies, Thailand is now the sixth-biggest contributor to plastic trash on ocean floors among 192 coastal countries worldwide.
“The recent tragic news story about the death of a short-finned pilot whale, found in a Songkhla canal having swallowed at least 80 plastic bags, finally brought interest and awareness to people about the gigantic plastic problem.”
“Central Food Hall and Tops acknowledge this problem, especially the one-time use of plastic bags, and are campaigning to urge customers to use reusable cloth grocery bags and decline plastic bags. We want to be seen as a green retailer that shows responsibility and gives full support to all initiatives to solve environmental problems.
“We announce that on July 3, which is ‘International Plastic Bag Free Day’, we are not giving plastic bags to our customers in all branches of Central Food Hall, Tops Market, Top SUPERSTORE, Tops Daily and Tops Online. Customers are urged to bring their own reusable cloth grocery bags and will receive eight bonus points on their The1Card point, which amounts to Bt1,” Phattaraporn explained.
“For customers who forget to bring their own shopping bag, we have prepared paper boxes, completely free of charge. To help the environment and support the campaign, you can also purchase a reusable cloth grocery bag,” she added.
“During the campaign day, the number of used plastic bags will reduce by a whopping 500,000 bags. And that’s just for one day! It is our intention to start convincing and encouraging all Thais to use reusable cloth bags and to not only decline plastic bags, but to stop using them completely,” the executive VP said.