Koh Tao is a small island and most of the products used on the island come from the mainland. The recycling opportunities on Koh Tao are very limited and bringing waste back to the mainland is very cumbersome. Therefore much of the waste is dumped on the local landfill or burned in small open fires. Wastewater and run off from the landfill form a major pollution threat to the ocean.
With the Koh Tao festival in sight, Save Koh Tao organizes an extra large clean-up. A lot of diving schools and restaurants are involved, and even the Thai Navy has 300 cadets joining the party. An incredible amount of waste and dirt gets cleaned up. Such a clean-up gives you a huge amount of satisfaction. It’s a good feeling to see a beautifully clean beach, but it still takes a lot of energy to keep it that way.
What can we do differently?
As long as we keep producing waste, it will end up in nature in one way or another and we keep cleaning it up. It’s time to take the next step. By stopping our one-time use of certain plastic products, we also stop producing waste. It all comes down to the principle, “Be the change you want to see” or “be the change you want to see in the world”. This was the focus on Earth Day last weekend. There are several organizations that take the lead on the island, like restaurants that do not give plastic straws but instead a bamboo or stainless steel variant. Various groups are actively lobbying to ban straws Koh Tao-wide. Ways of making Koh Tao free of plastic bags are also considered. The use of plastic small half liter bottles is addressed by selling refillable Trash Hero bottles. Buy 1 stainless steel bottle and you can refill it for free at any bottle outlet. Many organizations will sign a commitment to release their company single-use plastic, and so inspire others to do the same on Earth Day.
Participating in Earth Day and in the lottery we raise money to set up a recycling system and ensure that the waste is properly separated and transported to the mainland. And also to replace the plastic with non-plastic alternatives on Koh Tao.
We have a dream … ..
How nice would it be if Koh Tao were to become the first island in the world free from single-use plastics. If you support this action than sign this petition.
Stop pollution, join the solution!