A ban is now in place for the use of single-use plastics and foam containers in all 155 national parks around Thailand. The official ban which came into effect on 6 April 2022 has prohibited plastic food containers, plastic glasses, plastic straws, plastic spoons and forks, plastic packaging; such as, plastic handles, and foam containers – essentially any item that is used one time and then thrown away.
The maximum fine for bringing or using these items into any of Thailand’s national parks could be as high as 100,000 Baht under the National Parks Act B.E. 2562 (2019). Thailand is blessed with a landscape abundant in natural beauty, including that which can be enjoyed at its stunning national and marine parks. The importance of protecting this environment is paramount, and while plastic bags and other items offer convenience, they are harmful to the landscape and wildlife.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has been actively fighting against single-use plastics since it launched an initiative in August 2018, encouraging visitors to national parks to instead opt for natural material bags, utensils, and drink bottles that can be used repeatedly. Supported by organisations like TAT, this has represented a move in the right direction to protect Thailand’s natural and scenic beauty, and the introduction of the penalty further strengthens these efforts.