Plastic Types and Usage by People in Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University Area, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province
Plastic accumulation or pollution is increasing day by day. Plastics can absorb and transport chemical pollutants and thus create chemical pollution. Plastic pollution is a threat to creatures on lands and in oceans. It is important to investigate and be knowledgeable about plastic usage before plastic pollution management in a particular area. This study investigates (1) the types of discarded plastic products inside the dustbins to know the plastic accumulation in the environment, and (2) plastic usage by people in Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University area, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, southern Thailand. People were categorized based on their sex (males and females), age-groups (young and old), and occupations (students, office employees, cleaners, Songtaew drivers, housewives, and sellers). The results showed that dustbins contained eight types of plastic products (plastic bags, boxes, spoons, glasses, bottles, straws, food packages, and styrofoams) and the number of plastic bags was the highest (p < 0.05). Between males and females, males used significantly more plastic boxes, spoons, glasses and straws than females (p < 0.05). Between young and old people, old people used significantly more styroforms, boxes, glasses and plastic bags than young people (p < 0.05). Among people from different occupations, office employees used significantly more styrofoams, glasses, and straws; students, cleaners and drivers consumed significantly more packaged foods; cleaners and housewives used significantly more plastic bags; and cleaners used significantly more boxes and spoons, compared to other occupational groups (p < 0.05). This study shows that people from different sexes, age-groups, and occupations use plastics differently in their everyday life, and their daily consumption behaviors might shape their plastic usage. The findings of this study are very new as nobody has yet addressed how people from different ages, sexes and occupations use plastics in their everyday life in southern Thailand.
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