PHUKET, 11 July 2018: The Phuket Hotels Association is initiating a programme to reduce single-use plastic in member hotels through collaboration with the US Embassy Science Fellowship (ESF) Programme.
The cooperation involves a 60-day research project in Phuket to investigate plastic use and waste management at the island’s hotels and resorts.
The research will detail recommendations for the elimination of single-use plastics that Phuket hotels and resorts can adopt.
“So much depends on the health of our oceans,” remarked US Ambassador to Thailand, Glyn Davies. “That’s why the embassy will engage in this project with the Phuket Hotels Association to reduce and eliminate marine plastic pollution.”
While Thailand is only the 20th most populous country in the world, it is believed to be among the top six plastic polluters.
Phuket Hotels Association president, Anthony Lark commented: “The world’s oceans and the creatures that depend on them are choking on plastic and it is our duty to tackle this problem. Our collaboration with the US embassy is another example of how the Phuket Hotels Association is taking decisive action to preserve our local environment.”
He said the research, that is already underway and should be completed by early September, would deliver recommendations to assist member hotels to overhaul their waste management techniques and eliminate single-use plastics.
“If these practices are put into action at all of our 70-plus member properties, it will have an incredible impact on the local environment,” said Lark.
Reducing plastic is one of the Phuket Hotels Association’s primary goals. It has already set up a working group dedicated to eliminate plastic water bottles in hotel rooms and reducing other single-use plastics within the hotels, such as drinking straws.
The Phuket Hotels Association also conducts regular beach clean-up events and hosts staff training and education workshops on the negative impact of plastic on the environment.
Teaming up with the ESF Programme marks the next major step in the association’s efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
Dr Marissa Jablonski, an expert in waste management, is conducting the 60-day research.
Once her recommendations are implemented at more than 70 member properties, Phuket will become one of the first tourism destinations in the world to eliminate single-use plastics across such a large number of hotels and resorts.