Just six months ago, we joked about 7-Eleven banning plastic bags—and for good reason.

In an interview with BK, the general manager of 7-Eleven’s corporate brand strategy, Samrej Zeepongsekul, told us: “We have to meet customers halfway, by giving them options. Don’t forget that 7-Eleven has to serve up to 30 million customers who are all very diverse. We believe that there are still a lot of customers who feel they deserve convenience and fast service when they come to us... As retailers, we need to take the current consumer behavior into account, unless there’s a law to ban plastic bags, which there isn’t.” 

With a statement like that, we thought we'd never see the day, but give yourselves a pat on the back because it appears consumer behavior has won out—with a gentle nudge from the government. As stated on the official Facebook page of the natural resources and environment minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, 43 convenience and department stores have signed up to the program—including CP All, the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand.

The campaign encourages customers to get in the habit of carrying reusable bags in a bid to ease into the ban on plastic bags that is set to take force in Thailand by 2022. Other key participants include The Mall Group, which began charging for bags back in July.

Although there's no word on whether 7-Eleven will extend the policy to other single use plastics such as straws and utensils, at least it's a move in the right direction.


Read more: Can Thailand ever turn the tide on single-use plastic waste?