Tradition vs Trash: Officials urge fewer plastic krathong

Almost 1 million krathong were collected from waterways in Bangkok last year. Photo: @Pacharapapon

Celebrants of this week’s Loy Krathong festival have been urged to opt for krathong made of natural materials instead of plastic foam.

The Pollution Control Department expects a smaller number of the non-biodegradable foam-made items to be deployed during the historic festival this year, based on their gradual reduction over the past seven years.

In 2011, the department recorded around 58,000 foam-made krathong which accounted for 18 percent of the total floating items in Bangkok, said director-general Wichan Simchaya.

This declined to 14 percent in 2012, 12 percent in 2013, and 10 percent in 2014, he added.

Wichan urged the public to help protect the environment by using smaller krathong made of natural materials such as banana tree leaves and flowers, and also suggested sharing one krathong per family or group, reported Thai PBS and PPTV.

Thailand is currently one of five Asian countries responsible for the majority of plastic found in world’s oceans as the nation’s demand for safe, disposable products is outstripping its waste management capabilities, said a recent report by Ocean Conservancy.

Over half of the world’s plastic garbage in the oceans comes from Thailand, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

Last year almost one million krathong were floated by Bangkokians. The waste was sent to three different disposal units.


The morning after: 1 million krathong end up Bangkok garbage

Thailand key contributor to plastic in world’s oceans


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