Thailand Set To Ban Plastic Waste Imports By 2021

Thailand has announced that it will ban plastic waste imports into the country from 2021, according to reports, in order to prevent the kingdom from becoming the “world’s next dumping ground”. 

The announcement was made after the country has seen an increase in waste once destined for China – now re-routed to Southeast Asia following China’s ban on certain waste streams, which includes some plastic and paper that falls below a certain contamination.

Thailand’s government has said improving the country’s waste management infrastructure is a priority and set goals for 2021.

Measures to be taken will reportedly include cutting the use of plastic bags and bottles in government agencies and businesses, and plastic bans in tourist destinations. A tax on plastic bags has also been mentioned, along with a target to recycle up to 60 percent of plastic by 2021, according to news agency Reuters.

The announcement follows news earlier in the year that Thailand will ban imports of 432 types of scrap electronics within six months – again in response to China’s crackdown on imports of high-tech waste this year.

Thailand’s e-waste ban came weeks after regional neighbour Vietnam said it would temporarilystopissuing new licenses for waste imports and crack down on illegal shipments of paper, plastic and metal.

Vietnam’s central bank asked banks to tighten lending to projects deemed environmentally unfriendly. It said banks must have strategies for environmental risk management by 2025.

At the same time Malaysia also cancelled permits for imports of plastic waste.

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