TAT launches ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste’

plastic waste, Thailand, sustainability, environment

Garbage following Koh Phangan full moon party in 2003

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is supporting a new campaign with private stakeholders of the travel industry with the target of reducing by 50 per cent single plastic-use waste from tourism by 2020.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is enhancing its ongoing responsible tourism strategy by announcing a new ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste‘ collaboration initiative with various stakeholders in a bid to cut tourism-related waste by up to 50 per cent by 2020.

The framework will see TAT work hand in hand with strategic partners in launching publicity campaigns for responsible tourism. Public and private sector partners include the Expedia Group, Tourism Council of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association, the Chao Phraya River tourism-related businesses including ICONSIAM, Nonthaburi Municipality, Siam Piwat Retail and Development Company, and local communities in Bangkok.

The collaboration and follow-up initiatives will encourage both tourists and businesses to address waste problems in key travel destinations generated by the country‘s tourism sector.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “This collaboration is set to serve as a catalyst within Thailand’s travel and tourism sectors. These activities will instil a sense of environmental consciousness as well as encourage tourists to travel responsibly by leaving only footprints and taking only good memories.

“TAT will take a lead role in providing support and recommendations on how to reduce waste and single-use plastics. We will encourage consumption of reusable or sustainable items; such as, plant-based drinking straws instead of plastic straws. Cotton bags instead of plastic bags, water tumblers instead of plastic bottles, reusable food utensils instead of single-use plastic or foam items.”

The initiative will kick off in Bangkok and then expand into secondary tourist destinations around the country.

Through its actions TAT will continue to highlight its commitment to Thailand’s marine environment and ocean conservation, as well as the rescue of imperilled marine animals that are most at risk from plastic.

During the ASEAN and China Sea Waste Reduction Meeting host in Phuket in November 2017, between China and Thailand in 2017, Jatuporn Burutpat, chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources indicated that a 2010 study of 192 countries, published in 2015 in a US-based scientific journal, ranked Thailand as the world’s sixth largest contributor of maritime plastic waste, adding each year on average 1.03 million ton into the sea. The goal would be to eliminate waste by at least 80 to 160 million kg per year until 2021.