The Government teams up with private sector to manage sea waste in river mouths, aiming for long-term environmental sustainability

     Recently, Thailand has been grappling with the problem of sea waste, particularly from river mouths flowing into the sea. According to data from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, a study on the type and quantity of floating waste around the major river mouths flowing into the Gulf of Thailand in 2018 found that the majority of waste comes from the Chao Phraya River, followed by the Tha Chin River, Mae Klong River, Bang Pakong River, and Bang Ta Boon River. Over time, the government has collaborated with related agencies and the private sector to address the problem of sea waste in river mouths continuously, aiming for long-term sustainability.

     The establishment of a collaborative marine waste management committee at the river mouths, and a working group to promote collaborative marine waste management at the river mouths, has been created to monitor the progress of waste issue resolutions in the main 5 river mouths. This was based on a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in marine waste management, which involved all sectors to ensure comprehensive waste management, calculation of carbon credits, and long-term waste management sustainability.

     The operational framework includes installing waste trapping devices at major and minor rivers before they flow into the sea. It also requires cooperation with local communities for waste sorting and comprehensive waste management. Collected waste should be expanded into carbon credits that can be traded, which would motivate local people to sustainably solve the waste problem at river mouths. This approach could be replicated for managing other river mouths, including major and minor rivers and tributaries, in a sustainable way.

     Furthermore, the work plan involves private companies taking responsibility for operations in the areas of the five major river mouths flowing into the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand, specifically:

  • PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited and PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited are responsible for the Chao Phraya River area.
  • Banpu Public Company Limited is responsible for the Bang Pakong River area.
  • Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited is responsible for the Tha Chin River area.
  • Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited is responsible for the Phuket province area.
  • Siam Cement PCL is responsible for the Mae Klong River area.

     The Thai Listed Companies Association has coordinated with three more companies intending to participate in the operation to jointly sign the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in marine waste management, involving all sectors at river mouths going forward.

     The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Department of Pollution Control, and the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion will be responsible for coordinating and planning the operations with private companies. They will consider operation models (Boom / Litter Trap), survey suitable areas for each waste trap placement, taking into account comprehensive waste management, and approving the marine waste management approach of Banpu Public Company Limited as a template for other areas going forward.

 

Source: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 92 Soi Phaholyothin 7, Phaholyothin Road, Phaya Thai Sub-district, Phaya Thai District, Bangkok 10400. 
Tel. +66 2278 8500.

 

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