Thailand has been named as one of the world’s largest polluters of oceans because of the country’s heavy use of plastic, but an event in Bangkok this weekend is aimed at bringing more awareness and innovation to major plastic producers.

When it comes to using plastic, the numbers coming out of Thailand and its neighbors in Southeast Asia are staggering.

In 2017, ASEAN countries used more than 25 million tons of plastic. Broken down into per person per year, each person in the ASEAN region uses 40 kilograms of plastic. Seven billion plastic bags are used in Thailand alone each year.

Usage and environmental issues in the plastics industry were due to be discussed at length this weekend at an event in Bangkok named A-PLAS 2018 – ASEAN Community Plastic Exhibition, organized by the Thai Plastic Industries Association and Plastic Industry Club. 

Praradorn Julachard, President of the Plastic Industry Club, said entrepreneurs were developing new innovations and now understood more about ways to cope with environmental issues caused by the plastic industry since becoming part of the ASEAN Economic Community. 

More than 2,000 companies from the ASEAN region will be attending the gathering. Many plastic industry heavyweights such as PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, SCG Plastics Company Limited and Toshiba Machine (Thailand) Company Limited have taken an interest in the event. 

Meanwhile, environmentalists in Thailand have launched campaigns aimed at cutting back on the reliance on plastic in everyday life.