Upstream Single-use Plastics Reduction Solutions for Khon Kaen’s Street Food Complexes

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Upstream Single-use Plastics Reduction Solutions for Khon Kaen’s Street Food Complexes


The daily consumption of single-use plastic bags (SuPB) in Thailand is 500 million bags/day. Landfill is the disposal site for solid waste and many SuPB litter the land and enter tributaries of main rivers in Thailand, discharging plastic waste into oceans.

Khon Kaen is one of the biggest provinces in Northeast Thailand. It is home to one of the oldest and biggest universities in Thailand – Khon Kaen University (KKU). Northeastern Thailand is also among the poorest in Thailand and many still depend on agriculture as the source of livelihood.

Khon Kaen is also facing increasing problems with solid waste management (SWM) with the increase in urbanization and commercial activities. Almost all of Khon Kaen’s solid waste ends up at its landfill which is fast approaching its capacity. Plastic waste, especially single-use plastic, also increases with the increase in solid waste, further straining the landfill and the SWM system and infrastructure. Among the major contributors to the plastic waste problem is the food services, especially street food services.

Mekong Institute (MI) in partnership with the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) based in Brussels are implementing a project that seeks to identify suitable single-use plastic reduction solutions for street food vending complexes (SFVC) in Khon Kaen.

The one-and-a-half-year project will engage local stakeholders through bilateral meetings and community outreach programs, supported by communication and advocacy materials. The SuPB reduction solutions will serve as input to the policies and guidelines that will be developed and implemented by local authorities through public awareness and information package/hub, volunteer capacity building and empowerment, vendor information package, and training.


Effective measures are introduced to:

  • reduce single-use plastic consumption in local street food vending complexes
  • increase the packaging reuse rate


  • Reduced landfilling and uncontrolled incineration of plastic waste
  • Reduced littering, including in Khon Kaen tributaries of the Mekong River
  • Contribute to a sustainable food system through reduction of plastic consumption


  1. Baseline assessment report (August 2023)
  2. Technical dialogue organized (November 2023)
  3. Markets agreed to participate campaign


Activities include:

  1. Project inception meetings
  2. Baseline assessment
  3. Dialogues and workshops
  4. Training and awareness sessions (Single Use Plastic alternatives: behavior, options etc.) 
  5. Policy dialogues (standards for alternatives; supporting Thai Roadmap
  6. Monitoring and evaluation
  7. Visibility – communication materials


  • Environment Coalition on Standards (ECOS)
  • KKU Asset Management
  • Ton Tann Management
  • Food services, specifically street food vendors and SFVC operators in Modindaeng and Ton Tann markets


  • April 2023 – September 2024


  • Thailand


  • Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund (NREF)

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