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Thailand to start charging for single-use bags to combat plastic pollution

Thailand is to start charging for plastic bags from next year in a bid to cut down pollution. Stores across the country have already been running trials to reducing single-use plastic bag by providing them only on given days. But now one of the world's biggest polluters - churning out more than two billion bags a year - will see supermarkets charging for them from January 1, 2020. Retailers will move forward with the plans following a meeting last Friday (September 6) afternoon between the biggest chains. Customers will be charged for 2 -3 baht (0.05 - 0.07 GBP) in supermarket chains for using plastic bags. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-Archa said that the small amount of money might not change the customer's behaviour but the plan would encourage people to reduce plastic use. He said: "We are aware that as long as retail stores still provide plastic bags there will always be a plastic waste. "However, there were positive signs from the last campaign that began last year as we were able to reduce more than two billions plastic bags or over 5,755 tons of waste. "We will issue the new campaign to support the agreement on charging for a plastic bag, and we will call the action the 'Mariam action' named after the shocking death of the manatee Mariam who died from consuming plastic. "The present goal is to eliminate plastic use by the end of 2022 and substitute all plastic material to the recyclable by the end of 2027."
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