Saturday, June 14, 2008

Recycle Taxi

It seems like there's finally starting to be some awareness of environmental issues in Thailand, but we have a long way to go. Some Thai people are starting to use cotton canvas bags when they go shopping, rather than taking the plastic ones when they check out. And, there are many people here who recycle plastic and other materials for cash. The other positive aspect is that Thais are extremely resourceful and re-use many things that might otherwise find their way into the trash, such as the plastic bottle cap platform for Buddha in the photo.

Unfortunately, the overabundant use of plastic bags here, as well as the eco-unfriendly product packaging used in Thailand, is still a big problem. For example, in franchised convenience stores, it's common to see clerks putting each item into separate plastic bags, and then enclosing it all in one big non-biodegradable sack. Even worse, much of the product packaging here includes layer-upon-layer of plastic and styrofoam.

It's nice to see many Thai people walking around with natural cloth bags that read, "Say No to Plastic" or, "Save the Planet", even if it's just a trend (hopefully, it'll last). As individuals, we can each do our part if we cut down on using harmful materials. But, businesses here, big and small, need to get into the act, too.