If you are planning a trip to Thailand or South East Asia you are going to find a large amount of SINGLE USE PLASTICS. Everyday you will be given disposable plastic. In 7 11 you will be given a plastic bag and a straw when buying 1 water bottle. On every snorkelling or trekking tour your fried rice will come in a Styrofoam box. Getting a curry or noodle soup for takeaway, each item is put into a different plastic bag and tied with an elastic band.
If you think about all the plastic you use or will use during your travels it’s actually quite scary! Where does all this SINGLE USE PLASTIC go? The majority of it ends up in the sea of course!
TOP 10 Tips to help reduce SINGLE USE PLASTIC during your trip.
1. Try to leave 7 11 without any plastic bags.
7 11 loves plastic bags but to say don’t go there is pretty difficult, seeing as everyone loves the cheese toasties so much. So when you get to the counter to check out, be ready to tell the staff that you don’t need a plastic bag for each item you buy. You really don’t need a straw with your bottle of water nor a bag to carry it in.
2. Don’t get Takeouts at Restaurants.
Always try to eat in food stalls or restaurants. One bowl of noodle soup will mean about 5 plastic bags and curries will be put in Styrofoam boxes, so take away food is not the best option. Eating-in will mean a lot less waste!
3. Be a Trash Hero!
Trash Hero originally started and still runs on Ko Lipe. Every Monday tourists meet and go to clean one of the many beaches around the National Park. Now it has exploded around the world. Please see below for all the current locations of weekly Trash Hero Clean Ups.
4. Look for Eco Friendly tours.
Many companies now promote the use of reusable food containers and no plastic water bottles. Every island or city will have some companies that make special effort not to use single use plastic. Our Eco Snorkelling Tour & Diving Activities have zero plastic waste!!
5. Buy a Trash Hero Water Bottle.
If you buy a Trash Hero bottle on your travels in Thailand you get free drinking water at designated filling stations. The Trash Hero Water Bottles are already in 10 different locations and over 150 business around Thailand and this number is set to increase fast.
6. Always carry a Reusable Water Bottle.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you. Even when flying you can get through security with an empty bottle of water and usually in most airports there are free water fountains in each terminal.
7. DO NOT LITTER!
“Do not litter” may seem an obvious point, but we still see many tourists leaving beer bottles on the beach, chucking cigarette butts on the floor or throwing empty food packets on the ground, as they can not find a trash bin. Be sure to keep your trash with you until you can find somewhere suitable to dispose of it.
9. Research for Eco-Hotels.
Here at our Eco Lodge we provide metal Trash Hero bottles in each room during your stay and there are multiple water filling stations around the island. This means there is no need to buy plastic water bottles during your stay here.
8. Always Have a Bag with You.
Carrying a backpack or a reusable bag with you at all times is a great way to avoid getting given plastic when shopping, and a good place to store any unwanted trash until you can find a bin too!
10. Learn the Local Language.
Learning a little bit of the local language is a great way to help you travel in Thailand! You can try to learn how to say the following phrases:
Hello – Sa Wa Dee Khap/Kaa,
How are you –Sa Ba Dee Mai Khap/Kaa
Thank You – Khop Kun Khap/Kaa
No Plastic Bag Please – Mai Dong Sai Tung Khrap/Kaa
I think it is impossible to travel around Thailand or South East Asia and not use any SINGLE USE PLASTIC but being aware of it and trying to reduce it makes a huge difference.
by Kris Scope
Dive Centre Owner, Dive Instructor & General Plastic Hater.