– Several tourist destinations in Thailand are deteriorating due to environmental problems such as rubbish and wastewater pollution due to inefficient management, says TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
Tourism Authority of Thailand, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and the ECOALF Foundation have launched the “Upcycling The Oceans, Thailand” project.
It aims to tackle the problem of plastic waste in Thailand’s coastal and island tourist areas with an innovation that offers excellent environmental value. The project will also help improve Thailand’s image as a tourist destination concerned about environmental and social responsibility.
– Tourism is a key industry that brings revenue to the country. However, our competitiveness in tourism was recently ranked at No.35 according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This reflects the challenging of Thailand’s tourism development. Several tourist destinations in Thailand are deteriorating due to environmental problems such as rubbish and wastewater pollution due to inefficient management, said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
The “Upcycling The Oceans, Thailand” project will also focus on increasing awareness among stakeholders including tourists who want to volunteer to collect waste from the sea and coastal areas, as well as accurately separating plastic waste for recycling.
Waste collection for the project will target areas on Thailand’s eastern seaboard including Samed Island in Rayong province, Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand off Surat Thani province, and Phuket on the Andaman coast, all of which are popular tourist destinations.
It is expected that the “Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand” project will play a pivotal role in driving efforts to reduce the amount of debris found in the seas around Thailand in a sustainable manner.
Mr. Javier Goyeneche, Founder and CEO of the ECOALF Foundation, said, “The ECOALF Foundation implemented our first and unprecedented ‘Upcycling The Oceans’ project in Spain in 2015. By partnering with the federation of fishermen, we managed to transform plastic debris found in the Mediterranean Sea into a fashion collection under the ‘ECOALF’ brand, which received overwhelming response from consumers. We are now expanding the project’s success by replicating it in other countries affected by marine debris. Thailand is the first country in Asia where we decided to implement our ‘Upcycling the Oceans’ project in a strategic partnership with the TAT and PTTGC. The management of the entire process, from waste collection, through the transformation into raw material, and making clothing and fashion collectioms, will be completely done in Thailand. Another of the project’s aims is to raise awareness of the negative impact of improper waste disposal on the oceans. Currently, there is about 269,000 tons of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, representing around 2.25 trillion pieces of litter.”