Plastic bottles exceed 1.4 million beach litter collected
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) has reported that 1,427,831 beach litter were collected in 2021, with plastic bottles being the most common litter item found in the sand.
The report, published today (March 7) on the DMCR Facebook page, highlights the 10 most commonly collected beach litter over the past year.
Number 2 on the list was plastic bags, followed by scraps of foam.
Glass beverage bottles ranked fourth, followed by food containers, plastic waste, clothing/shoes/accessories, beverage cans and foam food boxes.
“All litter was sorted according to the International Coastal Cleanup Thailand Data Card (ICC Card) form, which stated that almost all the litter collected was plastic litter,” the DMCR explained in its report.
According to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), as of 2020, Thailand is the 10th largest contributor to marine plastic pollution in the world.
“That is not surprising. The country has an average of 1.03 tons of mishandled waste every year. Almost half of it (0.41 tons) flows into the sea. Plastics take a long time to decompose, from 20 to 500 years,” said researcher Yaowalak Chanthamas and Dr. Adis Israngkura PhD, Advisor on Resource Sustainability and Mitigation Policy at TRDI, in her letter on World Oceans Day on June 8 last year.
Most of Thailand’s marine litter is plastic, led by plastic litter (12%), polystyrene boxes (10%), food packaging (8%), plastic bags (8%), glass bottles (7%), plastic bottles (7%) and straws ( 5%), they wrote.
“Marine pollution is not just an environmental problem. Ignoring its social roots is one of the main reasons Thailand’s efforts to tackle ocean plastic pollution are far from successful.
“Without proper waste sorting by households and communities, especially in congested areas along coasts, tons of garbage flow endlessly into the sea, seriously affecting marine ecosystems, marine life and food chains, and eventually seriously affecting human health.
“Marine pollution is primarily due to consumer behavior and waste disposal. According to the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental organization, Thailand produces 27.8 million tons of waste annually. About 7.19% or 2 million tonnes of this waste comes from local communities, including those along coasts and rivers,” the couple wrote.