Why do 7-Eleven employees in Thailand insist on giving me plastic bags for every tiny thing I buy?
In my 15 years in Thailand, one thing that has driven me nuts is the huge number of plastic bags employees at Thailand’s 7-Eleven’s try to give me every time I buy anything. Even something as ridiculously small as a pack of chewing gum.
“No. I don’t want or need a plastic bag. They are terrible for the environment as they take thousands of years to bio-degrade”.
That along with getting five plastic straws every time I buy a bottle of milk at 7-Eleven, and I came to believe years ago the people who own 7-Eleven in Thailand must be heavily funded by the oil industry.
Yes, plastic is a product of oil, and it also pollutes Thailand’s countryside, contaminates its oceans and kills its wildlife. Just as much as oil does.
Apparently, though, it is not just me or the other westerners I know that are infuriated with the 7-Eleven’s in Thailand and their excessive plastic bag policy.
A Thai civil servant called Tossapon “Joey” Liptapanlop, was so irritated by it he started an online petition three years ago in an attempt to get 7-Eleven to change their policy. A plastic bag policy he believes should be ‘opt in’ rather than ‘opt out’. (You have to ask for a plastic bag instead of automatically being given one).
Once the petition had been up on Change.org for a few weeks, however, Tossapon forgot about it. Until recently, that is, when Change.org emailed him to say it now had 10,000 signatures.
In the few weeks since that occurrence, however, his petition to 7-Eleven about their plastic bags helping to pollute the environment has added more than 12,000 more signatures. Today’s total stands at 22,486.
So, the moral of the story on this one?
If you hate Thailand’s 7-Eleven staff trying to give you a plastic bag with everything you own, and several if you buy more than a couple of things, head to Change.org and sign Tossaporn’s petition.
He says, once it gets to 50,000 signatures, he is going to present it to the bosses that be at 7-Eleven and ask for a change.
I signed it the minute I heard about it. Then I headed to my local 7-Eleven, only to have to fend off the plastic bag the girl behind the counter was trying to give me for the 10 baht already-packaged-in-plastic pastry I had just bought.
7-Eleven. Stop it.