The Fate Of The People Living In Slum Areas Of Bangkok

As a tourist, their eyes are set on the glitz and glamour of the city with 5 star boutique hotel Bangkok, humungous shopping centres and internationally acclaimed restaurants. Behind this is Klong Toey which is the largest slum area in Bangkok, and the oldest, located near the big malls and Buddhists temples. This is where around 100,000 individuals are living in squat houses and shacks located in the narrowest alleys with open gutters next to their homes. The people living there are originally from the northern part of Thailand but they ventured into the big city in hopes of finding an employment.

There is a big contrast between the luxurious homes in Bangkok and these people who are living without the presence of electricity and even clean running water.

Prateep Ungsongtham, one of the people living there, said that the situation hasn’t changed since he was a child. She is now 66 years old and the only improvement is that their population in the slum area has doubled. The residents there are the same ones that are working in the biggest wet market in Bangkok while some are employed at the port. They are always in fear that they might be evicted soon because the city is aiming for gentrification.

Ms. Prateep is an advocate when it comes to the rights of the people living in the slum area. She said that there are almost no facilities in the homes, the houses do not have land titles and everyone is always worrying that they might get evicted.

Prateep, along with her sisters, decided to setup the One Baht School which educates young children since they do not own a birth certificate which is a requirement before they can be enrolled in a regular school in Bangkok.

The Port Authority has already released an eviction notice to her family because they are currently catering around 80 students in their school. The officials, however, cannot take much action because of the great support given by the people to the school.

In the end, she was able to succeed because the Port Authority awarded her with a location where the school was eventually relocated. The area might be far from a 5 star boutique hotel Bangkok but it is hope for the children who do not have birth certificates to get the education they deserve.

The 4R’s Of Packaging To Reduce It’s Impact To The Environment

The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment anticipates that ecommerce sales will exceed $300 billion this year with the most significant volume generated by the coming holidays. Along with the growth of ecommerce sales, it is expected that the demand for packaging supplies will increase substantially. Online sites will certainly make an effort to ensure that purchases are wrapped aesthetically in tulle, baskets, wine bags, cellophane wraps and burlaps bags before they are finally packed in shipping boxes. Presentation is important when it comes to packaging to ensure that the customer is fully satisfied with the online purchase.

The significance of the 4R’s in packaging

AMERIPEN through its brochure Packaging at the Forefront of Ecommerce Growth and Sustainability has explained the importance of packaging for ecommerce including the different strategies that must be undertaken to avoid product damage. Aside from ensuring that products are safe, prompt delivery is important with the assurance that holiday gifts will reach the customer in pristine condition with minimal impact to the environment. In order to ensure a sustainable holiday season, the 4R’s in packaging are advised to consumers.

  • REDUCE and consolidate orders so that packaging can be minimized during delivery
  • REUSE packaging particularly corrugated shipping boxes and cushioning like bubble sheets and cellophane wraps
  • RETURN packaging and cushioning products to local stores
  • RECYCLE packaging by using them for other useful purposes like shipping boxes for storage of stuff

The growing trend of return packaging

Starbucks has trash bins where people can dispose of their discarded paper coffee cups at 18% of its stores in the United States and Canada. The used cups can be recycled into new paper cups the same way that aluminum cans are recycled into new soda and beer cans. This is the solution to the lack of recycling facilities in many communities with regards to used cups. So far, company-sponsored recycling in the United States is not mandatory except for the state of Maine that has shifted the cost of discarded packaging to businesses. Although there is widespread opposition to the mandated responsibility, Coca Cola is standing by its commitment to recycle 100% of its cans and bottles by 2015 in North America.

Shop Online And Save The Environment


According to a recent article in Huffington Post, Canadian online shopping has outpaced traditional retail with Canada’s 2013 Black Friday online sales increasing by over 19.19% over the previous year’s sales. Such trend is expected because online shopping is highly convenient and efficient for shoppers considering that it can virtually occur anywhere at any time through personal mobile gadgets. Compared to traditional shopping at brick and mortar shops, online shopping is friendlier to the environment.
The impact of online shopping to the environment
1.    Online shopping reduces the need for transportation

If the shopper was to buy from traditional brick and mortar shops, he needs to travel to reach the store that requires fuel consumption. Online shopping reduces the impact of consumer travel since online shopping can be performed from the comfort of home or the office. Not only does online shopping optimize fuel efficiency; it reduces carbon footprints.

2.    Packaging can be recycled for another purpose

Online purchases are typically delivered in boxes, and these boxes can be reused for another purpose. Aside from being reused for packaging gifts to family or friends in far off locations, packaging boxes can be used for storage. If you do not have any immediate needs for the boxes, it can be dropped off to recycling centers.

3.    E-commerce sites make use of sustainable packaging

It is very obvious that the demand for renewable packaging is to address the concerns over the longevity of natural resources. Companies that are implementing sustainable packaging are reducing their carbon footprints by using more of recycled boxes and packaging supplies. Instead of paper packaging, virgin fiber is sourced from renewable plantations.

4.    Reduction of overall packaging

Consumers have their opinions about packaging, opinions that are expressed with the hope that major retailers will give the customer the option on how they want their orders to be packed. For example, Amazon is giving its customers the option between Frustration-Free Packaging and consolidation of all items into one shipment to reduce the need for packaging supplies.
While the choice to opt for online shopping is due to convenience, there is a rising awareness among consumers to support more responsible packaging to save the natural resources for the future generation.