Agricultural Development and Commercialization

Khon Kaen, November 29, 2023 — In a concerted effort to address the environmental challenges posed by single-use plastics, a technical dialogue on upstream single-use plastics reduction solutions took place in Khon Kaen at Mekong Institute (MI) on November 29, 2023. This event brought together street food vendor complex operators, street food vendors, provincial and municipal officials, environment-friendly packaging producers and waste experts to discuss and strategize effective measures to reduce the reliance on single-use plastics in the city’s vibrant street food complexes.

The technical dialogue was organized by Mekong Institute in partnership with the Environment Coalition of Standards (ECOS). The event is part of the activities under the project funded by NREF and contributes to Thailand’s Roadmap of Plastic Waste Management 2018-2030. The objectives of the technical dialogue are to confirm the findings of the rapid assessment, collectively define implementation strategies for single-use plastic reductions, and key stakeholders’ involvement and their roles.

The event aims to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among government officials, local street food vendors and environment-friendly packaging producers. The focus is on exploring solutions to use alternative packaging and reducing dependency on single-use plastics.

Experts on plastic waste management, municipal solid waste management and environment-friendly packaging solutions such as plant fibers and bio-polymers, provided valuable perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of reducing single-use plastics in Khon Kaen’s street food complexes. Best practices from “The écotables” of France showcased solutions that can be implemented to minimize single-use plastics in food services operations and reduce emissions. Eco-friendly alternatives were showcased by representatives of Thailand Bio-plastics Association, Siam Lanchang and Environmental Packaging Public Company Limited (GRACZ).

The highlight of the dialogue is the engagement with street food vendors, street food complex operators and volunteers to share their views and experiences contributing to the development of practical and socially sensitive solutions to single-use plastics reduction in Khon Kaen’s street food sector.

The Governor of Khon Kaen’s opening remarks, read by Ms. Suphawee Khala, Environmentalist (Senior Professional Level), emphasized the importance of one of the measures under the Thailand Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management (2018-2030), which is to reduce and stop the use of single-use plastics and recycle 100% of target plastic by applying circular economy principles by the year 2027. Projects such as this supported by the NREF contribute to the Roadmap’s goals and the provincial efforts to preserve local culinary heritage sustainably for current and future generations. The opening remarks further reiterated that this event provides a unique platform for sustainable solutions driven by local stakeholders to reduce single-use plastics in Khon Kaen’s street food complexes.


Ms. Pornthip, who operates a drink stall at Mor Din Daeng street food complex in Khon Kaen University, shared the food vendors’ success in switching to alternative packaging when Khon Kaen University banned polystyrene containers. Initially, she and her fellow vendors thought it was nearly impossible to make the switch. Drawing from that experience, she is confident that with some support from the market administration, food vendors will eventually use more sustainable food containers to reduce plastic consumption in Mor Din Daeng.

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