It's on your TV. It's on the radio. It's even on your social media. That one evil word: PLASTIC!

It's no surprise that we've hit a crisis point in terms of the environment. In the wake of climate change and more frequent natural disasters, activists like Greta Thunberg, are raising their voices and encouraging everyone to do their part to save the environment.

As a result, single-use plastic has become public enemy number one overnight and many countries are doing their part to be rid of it. Many grocery stores around the world have taken the first step by banning plastic bags, including Thailand. In fact, Thailand is planning to ban all plastic bags by 2021.


And what was the response from the Thai population?

Nothing short of legendary.

They're Not To Be Meshed With!

A massive trend has been flying across social media of Thai shoppers using plastic alternatives to when they do their grocery shopping. To say that they got creative would be an understatement!

Thai shoppers are using everything from hampers, buckets and even wheelbarrows to carry their groceries in. In fact, if you look at social media, it' almost seems like every shopper is trying to one-up the other!

As silly and fun as this seems, it actually is having an impact. According to Denmark's Ministry of Environment and Food, reusable polyester bags and cotton tote bags can be used 35 and 7,100 times, respectively, before their waste and energy use start impacting the planet.

Now That's What We Call Overpacking!

Now, we've all been accused of overpacking on trips. But you might not have to let that skill go to waste. In light of the new plastic ban in Thailand, suitcases are fair game when it comes to shopping containers. And if you think about, this is a really efficient way to get your groceries done and reuse that old suitcase that's been gathering dust in your closet.

Thailand is not the only country to find viable and efficient solutions to environmental crises. In Istanbul, it is now possible to exchange recycled bottles and cans for train fare. In the İTÜ-Ayazağa metro station, there are "reverse vending machines" that allow you to insert bottles and plastic.

Though it takes some time, you can accumulate train credit over time. The New York Times states that Istanbul plans to install 100 more of these machines within the next 25 years.

Traffic Stopper!

There is no better way to make a statement than by filling up a traffic cone with various food items. It's an easy way to transport smaller items from Point A to Point B and, like the above person, get noticed on the Internet. But in all seriousness, it's one of many creative ways that Thai people are embracing the plastic ban in their country.

Around the world, countries are cracking down on single-use products and materials, mainly plastic and styrofoam. In fact, Jamaica is taking things one step further. As of January 1st, 2019, Jamaica banned plastic bags, plastic straws, and styrofoam. But not only are they banned, but the manufacturing, distribution, and transportation of these materials are also illegal!

The country is taking into account certain exceptions, such as plastic bags used to wrap foods and drink cartons that come with plastic straws. However, this is only to give the manufacturers and corporations ample time to come up with alternatives. Jamaica is leading the charge in showing the world that effecting change needs to start from the source.

That's Quite the Catch!

Here's something to consider: if you find a really amazing and valuable item and you bring it home in a fishing net, is it still considered a catch?

Thai people give new meaning to the slogan "reduce, REUSE, recycle". Anything that can hold a certain quantity of items, they will use it to shop with. They've embraced this new law and lifestyle, and they've done it with style!

And they have good reason to embrace it. Plastic is one of the foremost contributors to the climate crisis. Not only are fossil fuels used to make them, but they pollute everything, from the streets to the ocean. Many animals have been found with plastic in their digestive tracts. And let's not forget the harrowing videos of turtles with broken straws stuck in their noses.

Mexico City is joining the train of plastic banning in 2020. In fact, they've stated they're going to return to their traditional ways of packaging, such as paper cones, straw bags and other methods of carrying food. Mexico City's director environmental awareness, Claudia Hernandez joked that the city has "a very rich history in ways to wrap things,”