Illustrative photo (Source: chiangraitimes.com)

Hanoi (VNA) - Thai Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kowsurat on November 27 pledged to cut tourism-related waste by 50 percent by 2020.

The minister highlighted the responsibility of authorised agencies to clean up the environment and raise awareness amongst Thais as well as seek cooperation from tourists to safeguard waters and land.

He stressed that single-use plastic bags, fabric bags, portable water bottles, foam boxes and single-use drinking straws will all be wiped out.

The minister said one of the main campaigns this year in promoting eco-tourism is to ask private sectors for cooperation in eliminating the use of non-degradable products at tourism hot spots.

Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has also banned the use of single-use foam and plastic containers in all 154 national parks country-wide.

Meanwhile, Thai Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Surasak Kanchanarat said that waste had created a negative impact in Thailand's forest ecosystems.

He added that the ministry launched a "Green National Park" campaign in 2015 and laid out policies amongst stakeholders in all national parks.

There is an immense drop in the use of plastic bags since the campaign was launched, he noted, underscoring that there are much to do more to tell international friends that Thailand is very serious in tackling plastic waste.

The environment ministry said in a statement that in the past 10 years, plastic wastes had accounted for about 12 percent of the total wastes, an equivalent of 2 million tonnes a year. These plastic wastes were also difficult to decompose and recycle, therefore the best resolution is to eliminate all single-use plastic bags and foams, said the minister.

According to the Pollution Control Department's information, of the 10.78 million tonnes of garbage generated in 23 coastal provinces in 2016, about 1.3 million tonnes were plastic trash and 74 percent of them were properly disposed of, while the remaining were washed into seas.-VNA