No, Thank You, I Don’t Want A Plastic Bag!

This only happens in the Land of Smile Plastic Bag .. and that’s why I make the choice to reduce plastic bag consumption in Thailand.

Buying 2 salad bowls for dinner, I told the seller (คนขาย) “no need plastic bag” (ไม่ต้องใส่ถุง) .. Seeing that he was reaching out for one, I repeated the same sentence again.

2 boxes, no bag, why not?
2 salad bowls, sans bag, why not?

Blimey. I sensed his dilemma and confusion … What? Why no plastic bags? He then asked his colleague “ไม่ใส่ถุงอย่างไร” .. which roughly means, how / what to do if do not use plastic bag? I managed to confuse the poor thing. He simply couldn’t fathom how could it be possible for me to carry two salad bowls, sans plastic bag. And these are covered salad bowls with lid, ok. Or perhaps he was simply baffled that people actually say NO to plastic bags.

I replied, “can” (ได้), and promptly picked up my purchase. God has given us two hands, no? Aiyooo … Pengsan (faint).

If I can do it, you CAN too
If I can do it, you CAN too

Walking back to condo with 2 salad bowls WITHOUT a bag, some people looked at me. Leave me alone, folks, for I commit no crime.

Reaching condo, our security staff asked me “ถุงที่ไหน” .. where is your plastic bag?

Next time, I shall bring along a reusable shopping bag, so that I can shop in peace.

6 small containers, 4 small bags
6 small containers, 4 small bags

Honestly, all I did was just reduced the usage of 1 miserable plastic bag.

There are 6 plastic containers and 4 plastic wrappers inside the salad container, keeping ingredients and dressing separate. All these additional containers and wrappers are meant to keep the salad greens fresh and crisp. Well, it makes sense … but … perhaps it’s time for me to STOP buying this type of salad bowls.

Why do they need to separate all these ingredients?
Why do they need to separate all these ingredients?

And just in case, you are curious … the small containers carry egg, tuna, ham, 3 different salad dressings (why do we need 3 salad dressings?) and the small wrappers carry barley, corn and crouton.

That's all
Only vegetables

The main plastic container only carries vegetables. Fresh and crisp salad greens guaranteed, at the expense of the environment. Nice one, Thailand.

According to the Pollution Control Department (PCD), the average Thai uses three plastic bags per day. And that’s conservative, if you think about the consumer journey … plastic bags are used like it’s nobody’s business. You get a bag with even a bottle of water, or a small pack of sandwich, to a small pack of tissue paper. Less conservative numbers reported 5 to 10 bags per day, and I think this is representative of the real numbers.

Let’s look at some numbers

Thailand’s Population: Approx 68.0 million x 3 plastic bags/day = 240.0 million (conservative) or x 5 bags/day =340.0 million (less conservative)

Bangkok’s Population: Approx 9.0 million = 27.0 million (conservative) 45.0 million (less conservative)

So, what can you do? Say NO to plastic bags, and use reusable shopping bag. 


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.