Plastic Bags Are So Pervasive In Thailand That Their Biggest Manufacturer Is Launching An IPO

We all know how much Thailand loves its plastic bags.

Buying 10 items at Gourmet Market? Here – let’s pack it into 8 plastic bags for you. Purchased a small pack of chewing gum at 7-Eleven? Don’t forget your mini plastic bag! Don’t even get us started on streetside coconut water sold in bags.

Plastic bags seem to be everywhere in the Kingdom and are more or less ubiquitous with every aspect of the Kingdom’s shopping experience. As for what that means for the environment, a report last year found Thailand to be one of the top 10 contributing countries to plastic waste found in the world’s oceans and seas.

So it comes as no surprise that the Thai plastic bag maker TPBI Pcl has reached such a point of success that they will be launching an initial public offering (IPO) in March 2016.

They plan to sell 25 percent of their registered and paid up capital through the IPO, reports Deal Street Asiaproceeds of which will be invested in overseas expansion projects.

“We are negotiating with some foreign companies for M&A and joint venture opportunities. We would like to tap into new markets particularly ASEAN countries and Africa,” said Somsak Borrisuttanakul, CEO of TPBI (formerly Thai Plastic Bags Industries).

TBPI is one of the world’s biggest producers of plastic bag and film, with 2 Thai-based production plants that manufacture a total of 64,920 tonnes of product every year.

2015 saw the company expand into Vietnam, from which they expect to see a 40 percent growth in net profit on the year before.

It would appear that the company have not been too inconvenienced by environmental campaigns from the government to implement sustainable waste management schemes and reduce the number of plastic bags littering the country. Last year, a campaign was launched that saw the government ask Thais to not use plastic bags on the 15th of every month, which is thought to have saved 15 million plastic bags between its August launch and the end of the year, according to the Bangkok Post.  

According to the Straits Timesif every Thai shopper used just one less plastic bag every day, a total of 24.46 million bags would be saved every year. In the meantime, however, it doesn’t look like TPBI have much to worry about.