The Pollution Control Department (PCD), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand established a “Notification of Pollution Control Department regarding the Definitions of Plastic Wastes and Plastic Scraps B.E. 2564 (2021)” dated on 25 May 2021. According to the PCD, the meanings of plastic waste and plastic scrap are different. Plastic waste (Khaya Plastic；ขยะพลาสติก) is defined as any plastic object or a part of plastic object discarded after use or after their intended use, deteriorated and unusable plastic, or plastic that is contaminated with other kinds of waste. On the other hand, plastic scrap (Sed Plastic；เศษพลาสติก)is a piece of plastic or unusable plastic residue.
According to the customs tariff law of plastic importation, Thailand imports only “plastic scraps” as raw materials in the industrial sector and does not import “Plastic wastes”. In 2020, 150,807 tons of plastic scraps were imported, and 44,307 tons of plastic scraps were imported during January and April 2021. Currently, Thailand is in a period of adjustment to prevent operators from being affected and will gradually reduce the importation of plastic scrap leading to the target of “100% plastic scrap import ban within 5 years”.
Cooperation between the government and private sectors to enhance people’s awareness of plastic waste separation has been developed to support the efficient recycling process of plastic waste within the country to recycle as a high-quality raw material that is in a growing need in industrial sectors. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment as the chairman of the Plastic and Electronic Waste Management Subcommittee under the National Environment Board emphasized clearly that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has the policy to promote plastic waste utilization within the country much as possible. There will be a ban on importing 100% of foreign plastic scraps within the next 5 years, and the government has never had the policy to import plastic wastes. If they are imported, they are illegally smuggled. In this case, the Customs Department and related agencies have been assigned to expedite the delivery of the containers back to the country of origin immediately. Moreover, Thailand has banned imports electronic waste of 428 items, according to the Ministry of Commerce’s announcement prohibiting the import of electronic waste. The announcement has been effective since September 15, 2020. If electronic waste is brought into Thailand, penalties, and fines will be imposed. Currently, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is promoting the draft of the Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Products Act”.
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