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The penalty for littering in nature: receiving it at home

A group of hikers in the Khao Yai National Park, in eastern Thailand, will receive in their homes the waste of plastic and packaging that they left during their recent visit, an action with which the authorities seek to teach everyone a lesson. .

“I want this incident to serve as a strong and clear message to all park visitors, Thais and foreigners, that we are not going to tolerate this kind of selfish and inconsiderate behavior,” Thai Environment Minister Warawut Silpa said on Friday. Archa. Warawut posted on his Facebook profile Tuesday a series of photos showing trash and boxes from a courier service in which the waste has been sent back to careless visitors.

Plastic bottles, cans, glass containers and bags of snacks are part of the accumulated waste and left in the natural park, about 125 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

The authorities knew the address and the name of the visitors because the hikers have to register their personal data in order to rent one of the available tents or areas where they can spend the night.

“Not only will the garbage be returned to the visitor, but the incident was reported to the police and a fine will be imposed in accordance with the law,” added the minister. Warawut warned that littering in a national park is a crime that in its most serious consequences carries penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of up to 500,000 bat (13,400 euros), according to local laws.

The authorities of Thailand, one of the countries in the world with the highest rate of plastic waste, have plans to progressively eliminate the use of plastic and polystyrene bags and containers, waste that often ends up in the sea or natural areas and causes the death of animals.