“It’s the first step taken by the justice system. But whether it’ll turn out in favour of the people or not, we will need to wait and see.”
Sanit Maneesri and the environmental group EARTH have been watching the water and soil contamination in the small rural community of Nong Pawa in Rayong province go from bad to worse. But after years of waiting, justice is beginning to roll in.
This week, Sanit and 14 other community members participated in the first witness hearing against a recycling company that allegedly caused severe pollution in the area for over a decade. Two years ago, they brought the issue to court, asking for compensation of 1.4 million US dollars and rehabilitation of the environment.
Recycling factories have bloomed across Thailand after China banned the import of plastic waste. But many plants lack environmental control standards.