Update: Tesco Lotus has apologized for misstating its plans in a news release. The company later said it would only join the campaign for one day, not indefinitely as it was originally worded. This story has been revised accordingly.
BANGKOK — While all malls and grocery chain stores will stop offering disposable plastic bags for one day next week, they will be joined by one of the nation’s biggest retailers.
On Dec. 4, Tesco Lotus will replace the plastic bags it offers customers with paper at all of its roughly 2,000 stores. The store will also encourage customers to bring their own cloth bags.
It’s part of a one-day campaign by several department and convenience store chains on Thailand’s Environment Day in an effort organized by the environmental ministry. Other participating firms include 7-Eleven, Central, Makro, The Mall Group, Foodland, Robinson, Big C and Tops.
Stories of dying marine life, massive toxic waste dumps and environmental degradation have made plastic bag use a pressing issue this year, with calls for commercial interests to show responsibility.
In the meantime, retailers and malls such as Tops, Robinson, Big C have been urged to offer points and discounts to customers who refuse plastic bags. It was announced in June that all national parks would ban plastic and styrofoam containers, though enforcement appears lacking.