THAILAND June 2019
 
F&B Industry in Thailand are bracing up to new Packaging regulation by 2025
 
In Thailand, the food and beverage industry, which is one of the country’s leading industry in terms of GDP, is getting itself geared and aligned to the new goal by the Thai government to ban 7 single-use plastic types by 2025.
Nattanan Apinunwattanakul, an analyst with Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center (SCBEIC), said the new government measures call for production of more degradeable packaging products such as bioplastics, as well as using materials other than plastic. Bioplastics are usually made from sugar cane or cassava.
She said, "The food industry and other sectors may find opportunities to produce other types of degradable products or packaging, such as straws made of seaweed or rice, edible spoons made from wheat and paper bags." Ms Nattanan said polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the only type of plastic that can be recycled as others are lower quality.
The plastic moulding industry needs to be ready for almost doubled production costs from the move to new environmentally friendly packaging, she said adding that “some of these increased costs for new materials can be passed on to consumers such as restaurants (using straws/plastic food packaging) or retailers (using plastic bags).”
Thailand ranks 6th globally in terms of plastic waste dumping in the sea, amounting to 1.3 million tonnes per year after China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. In 2018, the Thai government introduced a measure to reduce plastic use as part of a policy to cut waste volume in the country. This is followed by an action plan to ban the use of 7 single-use plastic in several phases (see attached chart).
Nattanan said that the majority of foam containers, cups and some plastic straws are made from polystyrene.
She also added that LLDPE will be the most affected product from the ban because it is used to make carrier bags and packaging film, accounting for over 55% of total LLDPE use in making plastic products.
“With the plastic use ban in many countries, including Thailand, demand for LLDPE will fall from annual growth of 5?tween 2010 and 2017 to only 1% per year in the future,” said Ms Nattanan.
 
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