15/10/2019

The past couple of days we at Similancharter & Tour have been helping Surin and Koh Kam national parks to clean their beaches after they had been left without care for the 6 month rain season. During these couple of days we collected more than fifty 100 litre sacks of rubbish: plastic bottles, foam, fishing gear, toothbrushes, lighters and a lot of unidentified plastic. Even though the beaches look a lot healthier after the clean ups, a lot of microplastic remained, as it cannot be picked by hand.

Most of the trash we picked seemed to be local, but a study of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa offers fresh evidence that the vast garbage patches floating in the middle of our oceans actually come from ships, especially from big Asian cargo ships, which are constantly increasing in numbers.

Even the majority of the marine plastic pollution would come from ships, we all have to work every single day, on many ways for preserving the pristine marine ecosystems. We at Similancharter & Tour are committed to reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans by replacing all the disposable plastic bottles by refillable ones on our tours and at our office. We are also replacing all the necessary plastic trash bags with biodegradable ones and making sure, all the possible waste gets properly recycled.

Here are some facts about plastic:

  1. More than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016. That is up from about 300 billion only a decade ago.
  2. More than half a billion plastic straws are used every day around the world.
  3. About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute.
  4. 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year. These are coated with plastic to laminate the inside and use plastic lids.
  5. The world produces more than 14 million US tons of polystyrene (plastic foam) each year. Americans alone throw away around 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year.
  6. Around the world, people litter more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts every year.

…and here are some easy tips for reducing the amount of disposable plastic

  1. Use refillable bottles instead of disposable ones.
  2. Order your beverages without a straw.
  3. Carry shopping bags with you in order to avoid getting a plastic bag during a spontaneous visit in a grocery store.
  4. Enjoy your relaxing coffee break home or in a coffee shop, do not take away!
  5. Do not buy food packed in styrofoam.
  6. Carry a small ashtray with you all the time, or just quit smoking 😉

This is how the Koh Kam National Park looked after being left without care for 6 months.

The beach looked a lot better after the clean up. The remained microplastic that cannot be removed by hand is still a huge problem for our oceans.

References:

https://phys.org/news/2019-09-ocean-plastic-ships.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-straws-on-request-20180116-story.html

http://www.earth-policy.org/press_room/C68/plastic_bags_fact_sheet

https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2015/06/the-effects-of-paper-coffee-cups-on-the-environment

https://greendiningalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/real-cost-of-styrofoam_written-report.pdf

http://www.beachapedia.org/Cigarette_Butt_Litter