A person holds a reusable plastic drink container in front of a table. © GIZ

Tackling single-use plastic in Thailand (CAP SEA)

The Collaborative Actions for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in Southeast Asia (CAP SEA)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Climate, environment, management of natural resources

Representatives from Germany and Thailand hold documents at a signing ceremony.© GIZ / CAP SEA Project


Between 2017 and 2019, Bangkok’s waste collection averaged 3.87 million tons annually. From 2020 to 2021, pandemic-induced changes reduced collection, which remained stable in 2022. The Department of Environment within the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) oversees waste management with 50 district offices. Garbage collection crews collect waste from households, institutions, and businesses, transporting it to disposal centres. BMA initiated a 3R programme in 50 districts, emphasising reducing, reusing, and recycling to minimise landfill waste.

Existing waste management covers separation, collection, and recycling, with room to prevent single-use plastic waste. This involves implementing policies to encourage resource-efficient behaviours like promoting reuse and discouraging single-use packaging.

In response, the project “Collaborative Actions for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in Southeast Asia (CAP SEA) initially assisted Thailand and Malaysia in developing anti-single-use plastic measures. Subsequently, the project focused on improving upstream strategies for city-wide plastic waste reduction and reuse, building on previous achievements.

A man in a suit engages in a discussion with four workers in front of three colorful rubbish containers.


The waste and pollution management challenges in Bangkok have been effectively addressed, notably through a substantial reduction in single-use plastic waste generation, aligning with the city's sustainability goals and enhancing residents’ well-being.


The project achieves its objectives through the following measures:

  • Developing and studying the Reuse and/or Deposit Return Scheme (DRS): Establishing guidelines for implementing a DRS for reusable packaging at events and festivals and conducting a study focused on PET bottle packaging at the city level, leveraging automated reverse vending machines for effective implementation.
  • Enhancing refill systems: Developing recommendations for the use and maintenance of refill systems to improve the efficiency of water refill station systems and enhancing public confidence in terms of hygiene standards.
  • Developing practical guidelines and piloting implementation in BMA schools: Summarising the overview and current situation on waste management as well as promoting awareness and actions to reduce single-use plastic consumption in BMA schools.

Last update: April 2024

Representatives from Germany and Thailand hold documents while others from both countries give thumbs up at a signing cere-mony.

Additional information