Recently there has been a large increase in marine debris washing up on to Sairee Beach including an overwhelming amount of plastic bags. As much as we have been doing our part to collect this rubbish and dispose of it correctly it has got me wondering how much of this ever gets recycled. I’m thinking this amount is very little due to the fact it costs around $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags which can then be sold on the commodity market for only $32. The business sense just isn’t there. Global stats show only 1-3% of plastic bags ever get recycled the rest head to a landfill, but here is the question how much actually makes it to the landfill and how much ends up in the ocean for a second time.
While constant beach clean up’s are helping the problem what we really need is the problem mitigated. So here is the question. If entire states and countries can ban the plastic bag how hard would it actually be for a small island in the gulf of Thailand to ban the plastic bag? It can’t really be that hard surly it just needs a bunch of dedicated people who care about the environment to start it off. What if that small island in the gulf of Thailand was full of those sorts of people? Divers!!!
Surly this could be done; it would be a lot of hard work. The process would need the entire island to embrace this, it couldn’t be some businesses doing this and some not as it would give a competitive edge to the business that still offered plastic bags. What we would need is every business selling reusable cloth bags and we already have these on the island produced by “Save Koh Tao” maybe we could even see a return to paper bags.
Imagine how amazing it would be for a tourists departing on the boat from the mainland to Koh Tao seeing information on the boat that Koh Tao is a plastic bag free environment and that cloth bags are available to purchase from the pier or any store on Koh Tao. This would send a message to the world that on Koh Tao ECO is more than just a word that is thrown around it actually means something.
My question is are their enough people on Koh Tao who care enough to actually do something about this, could this be our major project for 2013 “BAN THE BAG” imagine that by the end of 2013 no more plastic bags on Koh Tao.
We are interested in comments on this, could this actually happen????