Plastic waste on a beach in Thailand. The country is one of the biggest marine polluters in Asia and until recently, a major importer of foreign waste. In a bid to stem the flow of imported rubbish coming into Southeast Asia following China’s waste ban , Thailand has announced a plan to halt all imports of plastic waste by 2021. Thailand is the latest country in the region to toughen restrictions on foreign waste as rubbish from developed nations piles up at ports across Asia. Banjong Sukreeta, deputy director of Thailand’s department of industrial works said in a recent interview : “The amount coming in has increased since China banned plastic. We will ban [plastic waste] within two years.” After China shut its doors to foreign waste in January, the United States shipped nearly half of all its plastic waste to other Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam over the next six months. US exports of plastic waste to Thailand has spiked almost 2,000 per cent from 2017 , amounting to 91,505 metric tonnes this year. “This message from Thailand is not a surprise as certain Asean countries began reviewing respective policies on plastic waste and e-waste […]

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