BANGKOK (Bernama) – Fuelled by rapid population growth and urbanisation, a total of 27.82 million tonnes of solid waste was generated in Thailand last year, an increase of 1.64 per cent from 2017, says its Pollution Control Department (PCD) in a report.
In the Booklet on Thailand State of Pollution 2018, published by the department, it said in Bangkok, 4.85 million tonnes of solid waste, about 17 per cent of the total in the country, were generated.
“The other 76 provinces contributed 22.97 million tonnes of solid waste last year,” it said.
The booklet contains the statistics and initiatives taken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and PCD on water, air and waste pollution in the country.
With the higher amount of waste generated last year, the report said solid waste management in the country showed improvement, where 9.58 million tonnes or 34 per cent of municipal solid waste were separated at sources and recycled, an increase of 13 per cent from 2017.
However, it said 10.88 million tonnes or 39 per cent of municipal waste were disposed properly while another 7.36 million tonnes (27 per cent) were inappropriately disposed.
In 2018, the report said, two million tonnes of municipal plastic waste, including 1.2 million tonnes of plastic bags and 500,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were generated.
It said 7.15 million tonnes of solid waste were inappropriately disposed by dumping it directly into the rivers and sea.
“A total of 569,657 pieces of residual waste weighing 33 tonnes were collected at beaches, coral reefs and mangrove forests in 48 areas in 24 provinces in the country, last year.
“The top 10 residual waste collected included plastic bags (18.9 per cent), plastic beverage bottles (8.6 per cent), plastic shopping bags (8.4 per cent), foam plates and bowls (6.96 per cent), straw and swizzle sticks (4.6 per cent) and plastic cups (3.6 per cent),” it said.
To reduce marine debris in the country, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha recently announced that the country planned to reduce the amount by at least 50 per cent by 2027 with greater public-private collaboration under the ‘Thailand Public-Private Partnership for Plastic and Waste Management’ initiative.