Poll shows Thais are worried Thailand may become hub of imported trash

More than 60 percent of Thais are concerned that Thailand may end up being a hub of imported hazardous trash because of widespread corruption, greediness, lack of discipline of the Thai people, lax regulation and inspection and lack of an efficient body in garbage management, said Mr Noppadol Kannikar, director of Super Poll, citing the result of an opinion poll.

Super Poll gauged the opinions of 1,037 people from all walks of life about the import of electronic trash and plastic trash into the country for recycling.

Besides the 64.7 percent of respondents who expressed concern about the possibility that Thailand may turn into a hub of imported hazardous trash, the poll shows 35.3 percent think otherwise that it is not possible.

96.9 percent of the respondents want the government to ban the import of hazardous trash and 97.5 percent agree that the government should amend the law to increase penalties against illegal importation of the trash.

82.8 percent maintain that the biggest share of imported trash came from China, followed by the US, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.

69.9 percent do not trust the government that it can ensure safety of the public from the hazardous trash while 88.1 percent feel that the government has not done enough to educate the public about the threats from hazardous garbage.

Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta, the national deputy police chief, however, blamed legal loopholes and the inability of customs officials to check every incoming container to look for smuggled electronic trash.

The Revenue Department reported that all 12 companies which operate trash recycling were suspected to be involved in tax cheats. Only a few of them paid just 90,000 baht in corporate tax each while the rest did not pay any tax claiming they were operating at loss.