A shop visitor walks next to an art installation on display made from plastic waste as part of the World Environment Day 2018 under the 'Beat Plastic Pollution' concept inside a shopping center, in Bangkok, Thailand, June 5, 2018. [Photo/IC]
BANGKOK - Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Tuesday called on people nationwide to refrain from using single-use plastic bags to mark the Thai Environment Day, which falls on Tuesday.
Convenience stores and shopping malls have also agreed to tuck away single-use plastic bags to shoppers on the Environment Day, according to the ministry.
"The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with major operators of convenience stores and shopping malls to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags on Tuesday as the launch date for the campaign," according to a statement of the ministry.
Hospitals are also being asked to dispense medicine in cloth bags rather than plastic bags.
After the plastic bag-free day on December 4, all stores and malls will work out their own measures to reduce the use of plastic bags, such as designating a day or a few days of a week that no plastic bags will be provided to shoppers.
Earlier, several Thai universities have launched their own campaigns by asking convenience stores on campus to stop providing single-use plastic bags to shoppers and urging them to bring their own cloth bags to carry goods with incentives provided.
Cloth bags are also available at stores to be loaned to shoppers.
The Marine National Park Operation Centre disclosed last month that the center has recorded more than 25 deaths of sea turtles on the northern Andaman coast, due to the problems of plastic pollution in the sea.
Thai Environment Day has been observed annually since 1991, but constant reports of plastic wastes in sea leading to deaths of marine animals have triggered state agencies to introduce measures to wean consumers off plastic bags.