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Closing the Loop


Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

Population: 1.56 Million (2018)
Population Density: 4,528/km2 (2019)





Nakhon Si Thammarat City Municipality is the capital of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in Southern Thailand. It is a regional hub for commercial activity, tourism, education and culture. The wider province is largely rural with urban development concentrated in the Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, a lowland region located on the province’s eastern coast. Nakhon Si Thammarat Province is home to 1.5 million people, 102,152 who live in the Nakhon Si Thammarat City Municipality, and has a total economic production estimated at $5.4 billion. The regional economy is driven by a thriving tourism industry and received over 4 million visitors in 2019.

​Plastic Pollution in The City


Developing effective waste management systems is a key priority for Nakhon Si Thammarat City Municipality. The province currently has the largest accumulation of unmanaged solid waste in Thailand and the city receives waste from surrounding settlements. Its close proximity to the ocean and large urban canal network mean enhancing city’s plastic waste management will create regional impact.

  • The City generates 9,000 tonnes of plastic every year
  • 48% of plastic waste is plastic bags alone
  • Only 0.7% of plastic is recycled
  • 90 tonnes of plastic ends up directly leaking into the ocean for the City
  • Another 360 tonnes is uncontrolled in drains and waterways – likely ending up in the ocean
  • 34% of plastic leakage is from littering
  • 47% of plastic leakage is from uncontrolled waste
​City Priorities


Nakhon Si Thammarat City Municipality is planning to introduce incentives, programs and local awareness efforts with the aim to reduce single-use plastic by 80% and plastic bag use in half in the coming years.

They plan to up their collection and recycling rates by including informal workers, like scrap collectors and junk shops:

  • Registering waste collectors
  • Organizing and providing trainings on safety
  • Providing medical benefits
  • Developing standards and incentivizing their use

The City is also seeking to improve their waste pick-up services to make sure plastics stay out of the environment:

  • Using state-of-the-art measuring and monitoring systems to make effective decisions
  • Improve and add to waste collection schedules
  • Provide citizens the right tools and know-how for sorting recycling
  • Open the dialogue between the City and citizens to better report issues


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