Coming from the United States, a western country where recycling was supposed to be quite good, I was quite surprised to see how, in some areas of Bangkok, Thailand, recycling was even better. Now, 10 years after I first moved to Bangkok, recycling in Thailand is even better. Most hotels have recycling facilities, and many restaurants and bars recycling bottles, cans and plastic. You even see poorer Thais travelling around the streets of the city with huge carts picking up old newspapers, bottles and cans, which they will then take to the local recycling plant to sell. But, nothing is quite as good as the Zero Baht Shop. A shop in Bangkok, where everything you buy is paid for in recyclable material.
The Zero Baht Shop is in Bangok’s Prawet district. It’s a small swop shop, where people bring in recyclable waste and exchange it for household items like shampoo, detergent and food. Kids even bring in plastic bottles and cans to exchange for bags of potato chips and candy.
Check out the Bangkok Post’s cool video about the Zero Baht Shop. It’s a great idea, and just one more example of how innovative Bangkok is on so many levels.