Expats join in Thailand’s efforts to go green

Expats join in Thailand’s efforts to go green

Expats join in Thailand’s efforts to go green

To the relief of the vast majority of its Western expat residents as well as Thais, Thailand is finally getting to grips with going green.

Maybe the still ongoing air pollution scandal was the motivation for such a welcome change in attitude by its government, but the country’s efforts to improve its environment are being welcomed by its citizens as well as its diminishing expat community.

The recent ‘in your face’ ban on the use of plastic bags signals an important change in authorities’ attitudes to pollution, global warming and the impact on tourism of plastic garbage littering its beaches and green spaces. Most major supermarkets and local convenience stores are in favour of the ban, having now stopped issuing plastic bags to their shoppers. The only retailers finding the ban a problem are the street food vendors, but local authorities are going easy on them as, for now, there are few suitable alternatives. Even the coffee chains are either using non-plastic straws or none at all.

As regards marine ecology, the ban on tourism in famous Maya Bay is having positive results for the marine life as well as the corals. Reef sharks have returned and, when the ban is finally lifted, the numbers of visitors will be strictly limited. Artificial reefs have been installed on the sea bed close by Koh Samui, and are now being colonised by coral and small fish. They’re a prototype for the reuse of old oil rigs in deeper areas around Thailand’s coastline and elsewhere.

Illegal logging is a threat to all forest environments nowadays, with Thailand recently upgrading its Forests Act to allow planting precious trees such as teak on private land as well as providing teak sprouts to local farmers. By 2037, it’s expected the move will have resulted in vastly increased forest cover.

Nowadays, the volunteer expat and local groups collecting trash and rubbish dumped in rivers and on beaches are making a real difference. Once collected, the rubbish is sorted and recycled, with many of the volunteer groups made up of students from Thai universities. Wherever the climate goes from here, Thailand will have made serious efforts to reduce the 21st century’s effect on its once pristine environment.

Related Stories:

Latest News: