This is what I asked myself when we first started doing our clean the beach boot camps, and now I can tell you…
The daily collection of trash from all over the Island goes to the Phuket incinerator in Saphan Hin but (and this a big but…) the municipal incinerator can only deal with one third of its daily delivery! That is 500 tons per day that goes into the adjacent land fill. To help with this clearly over whelming excess a second incinerator is being built which will handle a second 250 tons per day. However with 750 tons being delivered daily a third incinerator is already needed before the second one has even been completed.
This results is an alarming amount of trash expanding and over flowing from the land fill into the nearby ocean.
Let me break this down.
How much of this is you, me and all of us Phuket Expats? According to the 2010 census 525,018 was the population count of Phuket which included 115,881 expatriates (21.1% of the population). This of course does not account for the dramatic in take of tourists in peak season which can make the population swell to over a million! Nor does it account for what today’s 2015 figures would be in a census or the many student visas etc however as a starting point 750 tons of garbage between 525,018 residence means 1.4kg per person per day.
Whether I make this trash in my own home or at the restaurant I eat at or the supermarket I shop at, I am desperate to cut it down!
Cleaning the beach at bootcamp is brilliant and a vital part of educating the communities we live in but I’d like to challenge myself to stop creating trash thru my own life style which one way or the other is channeling garbage onto the beautiful beaches and ocean, if not deliberately, still non the less 1.4kg of trash not burnt each day in that over filled land fill belongs to me.
Over the next months I will be looking more into the 400 recycle centers in Phuket, talking with some of the soldiers of recycling who spend there days picking out and collecting bottles and tins to sell for small amounts of Baht, looking at my own house hold waste and blogging ideas on how to live a trash free life. I’m hoping for a solution based approach that is doable for all. Shocking as the facts and figures are, shock tactics don’t work and if I really want to see a change I have to make this personal and achievable to all so I’m getting started with myself!
If you would like to follow me on this daunting journey uncovering the truth under the tons of rubbish in out lives and hopefully finding a way out to a cleaner brighter trash free future then sign up to our Newsletter below & together we can make a difference.