Thai national parks ban plastic bags, styrofoam containers

Thailand’s National Park Office this morning announced a ban on plastic bags and styrofoam containers in the country’s zoos and 154 national parks in efforts to “beat plastic pollution” — effective immediately.

After the worldwide attention Thailand has received following the death of a whale in Southern Thailand found to have more than 80 plastic bags in its stomach, officials were ready to take drastic measures.

In a Facebook post (a not-uncommon place for Thai government agencies to announce policy), the move was outlined alongside an explanation that it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose, 20 years for a plastic bag, and over 1,000 years for a styrofoam container.

“Don’t let this problem be your grandchildren’s burden,” warned the National Parks

Department. Hear, hear.

While netizens say they’re not sure how the ban will be implemented, considering shops at national parks still sell bottled waters to tourists and we rarely see water refill stations anywhere in Thailand, the office responded in a comment that they simply “ask people for cooperation to not bring any plastic containers into the national parks.”

Of course, with our heat, a solution on the drinking water front will eventually have to be addressed, but raising an awareness about the plastic waste is still better than nothing. In other news, today is also World Oceans Day.

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