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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Reducing Plastic Waste Starts Locally

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Ghislaine Bovy
Ghislaine Bovy
After a career in marketing in major corporations, agencies and start-ups, Ghislaine is now an Ocean Protection Activist and Volunteer NGOs active in fighting climate change, in reducing plastic waste in rivers and oceans (The Sea Cleaners & Clean The Beach Boot Camp) and saving lives of coastal communities suffering from natural disasters. (Yacht Aid Global) She runs a Facebook page called DeepBlueCom where she posts and shares her passionate about, protecting our Blue Planet.

Reducing Plastic Waste starts locally and becomes “global” with time and Now is the time!

Time is of the essence! 7 years ago, local movements such as Clean The Beach Boot Camp on the island of Phuket, Thailand were considered as weird, odd and even criticized for doing the job Thai people or rather the Thai authorities should be doing, that is cleaning Phuket beaches to keep them pristine.

As the years went by, more Thai people joined the Saturdays’ beach clean-ups for multiple reasons. First, they enjoyed the work out kindly “offered” by the fitness coach and Founder of Clean The Beach Boot Camp and second, they thought Phuket beaches needed more and more TLC with the volume of tourists increasing exponentially.

From a very local movement Clean The Beach Boot Camp has influenced the beginning of plastic pollution awareness and the implementation of solutions.

More actors, such as the Phuket Hotels Association created events such as PHIST, Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustainability Forum held annually with concrete results such as the Great Big Green Hotel Guide in the form of an E-Book.

The aim of this guide is to provide hotels with real-life examples of green and sustainable alternatives so that those alternatives can start becoming their Plan A.

Dozens of examples show hotels how to reduce single-use plastics from single-use small water bottles to single-use bath soaps, shampoos and toothbrushes as well as straws and plastic cups.

In most Phuket hotels’ plan to reduce single-use plastic, the priority is to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles from their resorts. They are switching to glass bottles for most and some are even adding an extra plan, generating water out of thin air…

Yes, Generation Water offers solutions based on advanced technology to extract the water vapour from the air, then filter it to produce high-quality drinking water. Their mission is to remove one billion plastic bottles per year by 2021.

Other concrete projects include schools, such as the Recycled Absolute Ecobricks. Absolute Resorts & Hotels recently gathered up all their single-use plastics and recreated them into eco-bricks. The bricks were donated to the Baan Laem Hin school and were used to renovate the school library.

More projects exist both at hotels and in schools with one simple motto: Reducing, reusing and recycling!

New initiatives are being taken every day which means that it’s now a global movement!

From cleaning beaches back in 2012 to global initiatives such as Oceans For All created in 2019 to promote the protection of the marine environment, private groups and foundations are taking concrete actions.

Local authorities and major organisations such as TAT (Tourism authorities of Thailand) also joined this dynamic movement with new projects.

Back in 2017, The project “Upcycling the Oceans Thailand” begun its activities, thanks to the Ecoalf Foundation, in collaboration with the company PTT Global Chemical and TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand). It has a previewed duration of three years, from 2017 until 2019. The first year focuses on education and promotes the concept of responsible tourism while activities of waste management such as the recovery, segregation and plastic waste transformation are carried out.

Recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Unilever Thailand have signed a memorandum of understanding to run the Tourism to Recycling Actions for the Schools and Homes (Trash) project, starting in Krabi province

There are probably more projects that could be added but this is already showing a very interesting trend.

Are we on the right track?

YES! We are taking action and our local movement has become global!

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