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19 - 22 June 2024

Plastics Industry Needs Major Transformation to Align with Stricter International Environmental Measures

• The plastics industry is facing challenges amidst the increasingly stringent environmental measures which may incur an increasing in operation cost, but could also lead to opportunities for innovation and market growth.

• “Bioplastics” will become the norm that plastics entrepreneurs need to adhere to and choose to invest in appropriate technology.

By 2024, many regions around the world are implementing new plastic curbs. For example, the European Union has reset a target for collecting and sorting recyclable plastic bottles from 77% in 2025 to 90% by 2029, and is mandating that PET plastic bottles must contain at least 25% of recycled plastic by 2025, and 30% in all plastic bottles for beverage from 2030 onwards.


In Russia, single-use plastics are scheduled to be banned by 2024. Currently, manufacturers are required to pay 10% of plastic-related environmental costs. On another continent, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a national recycling strategy with a goal to increase the recycling rate to 50% by 2030.

In Africa, countries such as Nigeria are banning single-use plastics and Styrofoam starting from 2024 onward. Meanwhile, Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs to reduce plastic waste and promote recycling. Vietnam aims to reduce marine plastic waste by 50% by 2025, and Indonesia aims to reduce marine plastic waste by 70% by 2025.


For Thailand in particular, there is a plan to ban the import of plastic scraps by 2025 and a roadmap for managing plastic waste with a goal to recycle 100% of its waste by 2027. These regulations cover a wide range of plastic products including single-use plastics, disposable cutlery, and packaging materials. The objective is to reduce plastic waste, promote recycling and protect the environment and marine life.

Currently, Thai entrepreneurs in the plastics industry are trying to accommodate the increasingly stringent environmental measures around the world by focusing on biodegradable plastics and reducing plastic use. At the same time, the Thai government continues to support this transition to sustainability by offering tax breaks for companies that purchase and use bioplastics for their products. Additionally, under Thailand's plastic waste management plan (2018-2030), single-use plastic products and polystyrene foam containers will be banned by 2022. Voluntary phase-out of biodegradable plastics is also becoming more common in major retailers and department stores.


At any rate, the shift to bioplastics requires huge investments in many different technologies outside of most companies’ core business, and this may lead to a systematic impact on the entire organization. Moreover, the current cost of bioplastics is still higher than general plastics which may hinder a wide scale adoption.


Despite these challenges, the trend for biodegradable plastics is expected to continue and become the prominent option in the future. As countries around the world strive to reduce their environmental impact and phase out the use of single-use plastics, Thai enterprises are well positioned to capitalize on this trend and become the leaders in the global bioplastics market. It should be noted that businesses that proactively adapt to stricter environmental measures can gain a competitive advantage and operate more sustainably.


To keep up with the up-to-date information and the latest trends in the plastics industry, stay tuned to InterPlas blogs and don't miss out on the annual event to get together with providers of high-performance innovations and gain the knowledge about this rapidly growing industry at InterPlas Thailand 2024, the 31st edition of ASEAN’s Most Comprehensive Exhibition on Technologies for Plastics Manufacturing during 19 - 22 June 2024 at BITEC, Bangkok.



  • 6 Strategies for Businesses to Tackle Environmental Challenges

  • Business Challenges in the Transition to Sustainability - SpringerLink

  • Plastic Free July: How 20 countries are taking action

  • Single-use plastics - European Commission- Environment

  • ASEAN member actions on plastic and chemical pollution

  •  Greenpeace Africa Lauds Nigeria's Lagos State Plastic Ban