2024 Survey Reveals ‘Environmental Problems and Pollution’ as the Top Concern for Thais, and 74% claim it’s Impacting on their Quality of Life 

The environment continues to be a key concern for Thailand and again rates highest of all public concerns in 2024, according to a Marketbuzz and Thammasat University School of Global Studies Survey.

In a study that has been running every year since 2019, Thais were asked to choose their “Top 5 Public Concerns”.  In 2024, environment was the Top Concern chosen by 30% of those surveyed, followed by “rising prices” at 28%. In fact, it is the same two top concerns as we saw last year in 2023. This is always asked in the context of a range of major public concerns about the country, including other concerns such as corruption, healthcare, traffic congestion, crime and the economy, according to Marketbuzzz’s recent poll.

The concern for the environment is heightened with 74% of the public claiming it is having a huge impact on the quality of their lives. And this significant impact on their lives has increased from 62% in 2022 up to 74% in 2024. Just as concerning is the 37% of Thais who believe the environment is only going to get worse in the next five years. 

While the concern is there, and individuals are striving to make the most valuable contribution to protecting environment there is a much lower level of behavioural change and things being done to help the environment. The most common environmental behaviors are ‘not supporting illicit products’ (37%) followed by ‘using less electricity at home’ (34%)  ‘using more reusable bags and containers’ (33%) which conversely, it also says the majority are not doing their bit to help the environment and clearly more can be done to help a more sustained effort to protect the environment.

According to Mr. Grant Bertoli, CEO of Marketbuzzz, “Of all of the public concerns, it’s the environment that along with rising prices which continues to be the major concerns for Thailand.  While the environment is on top of the list again, making eco-friendly choices in their daily life appears to be a bigger challenge, and more can be done to make positive impact in order to achieve more sustainable living”.

The study has also revealed that environmental sustainability has become increasingly important for companies, with an increase in the number of companies who are contributing in a positive way towards the environment. For the first year, there are now four companies which are now over the 40% level in terms of association with making a positive impact towards the environment – these are True, PTT, Samsung and AIS. 

Mr. Grant added “Who is accountable is one of the key underlying questions from the survey and Thais have mixed views on who it is that should take the lead. Thais expect the government to play an important role, and it’s also expected that Thai people are equally responsible and expectations for them to also change their own lifestyle to also help with the environment. It’s very clear however Thais want change and are willing to be a part of it”.

The survey also shows that the top three most environmental concerns among Thai consumers include Global warming (30%), Air pollution (27%), and Climate changes (22%). And the causes of the air pollution are in fact mixed – with the top 5 causes being very mixed in their nature. Smog from vehicles (30%), Incineration of waste or agricultural produce (26%), Usage of foam/ plastic containers (23%), Harmful chemical in construction (22%) and Emission from the combustion of coals, gasoline and natural gas (21%)

Commenting on the findings, Assistant Professor Dr. Prapaporn Tivayanond Mongkhonvanit, Dean of School of Global Studies at Thammasat University, said “It is heartening to see that Thais are increasingly aware of the threats that global warming, climate change, and pollution pose to their lives, despite many other challenges that they face. Much of our work at Thammasat University School of Global Studies focuses on understanding these challenges through multiple disciplines and educating Thailand’s future leaders so that they can drive the social change needed to overcome these huge challenges. Our students have contributed substantively to the study by showcasing their commitment to environmental advocacy and sustainability.

Dr. Prapaporn added, “Reflecting on the survey, it is clear that while awareness is high, there is a gap between awareness and action that needs to be addressed. We must consider practical steps to empower individuals and organizations to make more sustainable choices consistently. The bottom line is that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect our environment, in addition to government initiatives. As a result, it is never too late to consider how we might contribute to a more sustainable future. We will all gain from doing our part to reduce negative environmental impact.”

For more details, please contact Grant Bertoli, Marketbuzzz (grant@buzzebees.com) or Neil Gains, School of Global Studies at Thammasat University (neil@sgs.tu.ac.th).

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Khun Khuntira Natvatananon

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E-mail: khuntira@buzzebees.com