Getting to the bottom of food waste: identifying obstacles to effective circular economy practices in a Thai semi‐urban context


In 2016, Thailand has instituted a national master plan to gradually improve the management of all types of solid waste, call ing upon the cooperation of diverse stakeholders, including civil society. Although the share of reused or recycled municipal  solid waste (MSW) in Thailand has been increasing over the past years, 65% of MSW still ends up in landflls or is burnt or  dumped outside the municipal waste management system according to data from 2018. Most of this waste is organic waste:  Whereas private stakeholders ensure that waste such as plastics and glass is being recycled, food waste lacks similar opportu nities for circularity. This paper aims to identify reasons for this discrepancy, as well as the obstacles to realizing zero waste  potentials for food waste by (1) understanding existing circular economy practices, and (2) stakeholder motivations behind  these practices. Building on data from 404 households in a municipality north of Bangkok, this paper aims to present cor responding insights as a basis for the identifcation of possible avenues to increase food waste circularity. Accordingly, this  paper will ofer recommendations to increase the efectiveness of food waste recovery, namely arguing for a stronger focus  on household-level waste reduction strategies. 



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