The Phuket Hotels Association (PHA) has joined forces with the US Embassy Science Fellowship Program to tackle the critical issue of waste management in Phuket, with the aim of eliminating single-use plastics at the island’s hotels.
Once the recommendations of the embassy’s appointed fellow are implemented at all the association’s 70-plus member properties, Phuket is set to become one of the first tourism destinations in the world to eliminate single-use plastics across such a large number of hotels and resorts.
Under the project, Marissa Jablonski, an appointed fellow of the programme, will conduct a 60-day research project investigating plastic use and waste management at hotels and resorts in Phuket, beginning July 2, 2018. At the end of her assignment, Jablonski will create a final report detailing recommendations for the elimination of single-use plastics at all Phuket hotels and resorts.
While Thailand is only the 20th most populous country in the world, it is believed to be among the top six plastic polluters, according to a statement from the partners. If urgent action isn’t taken, there could be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050.
President of PHA Anthony Lark commented: “Plastic pollution is one of the most critical issues facing the planet today. The world’s oceans and the creatures that depend on them are choking on plastic and it is our duty to tackle this problem.”
PHA says it has already made reducing plastic is one of its primary goals, having set up a working group dedicated to eliminating plastic water bottles in hotel rooms and reducing other single-use plastics within the hotels, such as drinking straws.
The association also conducts regular beach clean-up events and hosts staff training and education workshops on the negative impact of plastic on the environment. To facilitate this, it has translated and created Thai subtitles for the documentary A Plastic Ocean, in partnership with the Plastic Oceans Foundation.