26 August 2019, Bangkok – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners Plan B Media and Dentsu Thailand today unveiled a campaign titled ‘No Plastic! Yes, We Can’, to encourage Thai consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics at grocery stores, eateries and cafés across the country.
An advocacy video urging consumers to adopt alternatives to plastic bags and disposable cups and straws went live on more than 300 digital billboards across the country on August 23, including landmarks, airports, BTS sky-train stations and major shopping malls in Bangkok.
The advert depicts a local grocery store that offers free food and drinks from their shelves, but challenges shoppers to find innovative ways to carry the food, without single-use plastic boxes or bags.
The campaign will run till November 2019 and will feature awareness events and calls-to-action by celebrity advocates in Thailand.
Thailand generates two million tonnes of plastic waste every year, and over 50,000 tonnes of this plastic ends up in the oceans according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
At the UN’s Oceans Conference two years ago, the country pledged to take action on single-use plastics, including measures to encourage eco-friendly packaging and plastics substitutes in the retail sector.
Globally, experts have issued warnings that the 13 million metric tonnes of plastic waste that leak into the ocean every year are crippling and depleting more than 1,300 marine species, and contaminating the food chain.
According to estimates by UN Environment, by 2050, oceans will have more plastic than fish if present trends are not halted.
The advertising agency Dentsu Thailand developed the campaign concept and the video, as part of a year-long partnership with UNDP, and will roll out a social media campaign that reinforces the message on plastics across multiple media.
The first phase of the campaign leverages the near-ubiquitous presence of digital billboards owned by Plan B Media, Thailand’s biggest outdoor media company. Plan B billboards are playing Thai- and English-language versions of the advocacy video throughout their operating hours.
Plan B and Dentsu Thailand entered into formal partnerships with UNDP in July this year, with the two companies committing time and resources on a series of campaigns that further the Sustainable Development Goals in Thailand.
Plastic waste has been at the center of a recent outcry in Thailand after the death of the rescued baby dugong Marium who perished in August because of the plastic in her stomach.
“Thailand is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, but marine eco-systems are suffering and species dying because of the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans,” said Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP Thailand.
“I’m pleased to work with our partners, Dentsu Thailand and Plan B Media, in raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and the plastics issue among Thai consumers. I laud them for their commitment to working with us in achieving a sustainable planet without poverty and injustice,” said Meyer.
“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with UNDP in changing consumer behavior when it comes to plastics,” said Narong Tresuchon, Chief Executive Officer at Dentsu Thailand.
“We hope this partnership will prosper, and we are committed to working together on similar campaigns on the Sustainable Development Goals and efforts to make the world a better place.”
“I believe the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are a roadmap for a peaceful and sustainable future for our planet and each of us has a responsibility to contribute to that future,” said Palin Lojanagosin, CEO of Plan B Media.
“As an outdoor media company with the most diversified platform, we are excited to deliver that message to millions of Thai citizens through our nationwide network, and the campaign to reduce our dependence on plastics is a great start to that conversation,” he said.
The awareness campaign in Thailand is part of a range of ongoing UNDP initiatives supporting countries in their efforts to tackle the challenges of plastic waste, through changes in policy, innovation, stronger monitoring and changes in consumer behaviour.
Watch the campaign video here: https://youtu.be/aOxlRlXS5Mg
For more information on these initiatives, visit: https://buff.ly/2HpY5kV
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