Retail giant 7-Eleven has taken a hard line against single-use plastic, banning outright all free plastic bags, straws and drinks containers from its over 8,000 branches nationwide.
Shoppers were left stunned this morning when cashiers informed them that plastic bags must be purchased at B5 each, while ice coffees will now only be served in reusable cups, available to purchase in store.
“Single-use plastics have no place in 7-Eleven’s 21st-century retail model,” said 7-Eleven’s vice president of environmental affairs, Thanaboon Leesawun. “It’s true that many customers expect us to provide plastic bags, but sometimes, the customer is not always right. We’re willing to take a stand against this nation’s disposable culture.”
The news was welcomed by Bangkok green campaigners, who have long targeted 7-Eleven’s poor environmental practices.
Following what he described as “a lot of soul searching on the part of our company,” Thanaboon made the announcement just hours before the policy went into effect. While the company had previously predicted harsh public backlash in the wake of the move, opinion as of this morning was resoundingly positive.
“I bought a banana this morning and it didn’t come in a bag. I carried it to my desk then peeled it and ate it, the whole process was pretty simple,” said one shopper outside a 7-Eleven in Chong Nonsi.
Another person BK spoke to said that she had been worried when the 7-Eleven did not give her a straw with a 1.5-liter bottle of water, but quickly discovered a solution. “I drank from the bottle,” she said.
Update: This story was an April Fools on Apr 1, 2019. 7-Eleven continues to freely bag items at all stores nationwide. In response to this article, 7-Eleven has pointed to recent celebrity-endorsed campaigns, which include a B0.20 donation to Siriraj Hospital each time a customer refuses a plastic bag, as well as the launch of a line of reusable containers.