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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.