3Rs Policy and plastic waste management in Thailand

  • N. Wichai-utcha
  • O. ChavalparitEmail author
SPECIAL FEATURE: REVIEW The 4th International Conference on Final Sinks (4th ICFS 2017)


Plastic has become an important and integral part of society throughout the world due to its various applications, such as packaging, agriculture, automobile parts, electronic applications and medical devices. The plastic fabrication process can be modified to form various shapes, colors and specifications according to customer needs. Consequently, the amount of plastic waste is increasing due to the increase in plastic consumption because of the increasing population. Moreover, the problem of marine plastic debris is on the rise globally, including in Thailand, which results from the irresponsibility of mankind. Generally, plastic waste in Thailand can be generated from industrial processes and households. These two waste sources have caused the rise in plastic waste, which has contributed to the problem of waste management in Thailand. Additionally, Thailand is one of the contributors to the leakage of plastic waste into the ocean, which results from inefficient waste management. To reduce the impacts of plastic waste, effective measures have to be applied, such as reducing, reusing and recycling (3Rs) or energy recovery from plastic wastes. To ensure the proper management of solid waste, Thailand has established the National 3R Strategy and the National Master Plan for Waste Management (2016–2021). Furthermore, Thailand also launched a “Plastic Debris Management Plan 2017–2021”, which comprises several approaches, such as promotion and introduction of eco-packaging design and eco-friendly plastic substitution, development of the material flow for plastic containers and packaging inventory, implementation of the 3Rs (reduce–reuse–recycle) strategy for plastic debris management, and the promotion of education for relevant stakeholders in the field of plastics and its alternative materials. In addition, the options to create more effective plastic waste management are to implement legislation or revise the laws to improve the efficiency and reduce the amount of plastic waste, such as imposing plastic bag fees, strengthening the 3Rs measures, and encouraging the implementation of a circular economy in plastic value chains.


Plastic waste management 3Rs policy Key barrier Plastic waste recycling 



This research was financially supported by the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund (2016), Chulalongkorn University (CU-59-002-IC) and the 100th Anniversary Chulalongkorn University Fund. The authors would like to thank all organizations that provided data and funds for this study.


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© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Program of Environmental ScienceGraduate School, Chulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Research Unit of Environmental Management and Sustainable Industry, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental EngineeringChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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