It is hoped that participants at the event, to be held on August 13 off Chalong Pier and at various beaches around the island, will be able to collect more than the 7.5 tonnes collected last year.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Phuket Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa said, “It’s not just a matter of how much trash will be collected, but how many people are involved and the friends’ friends who are aware of the event. So it’s also about the psychological effect.”
V/Gov Sommai added, “There’s going to be lots of children involved as well, which means all the better for the future generation.”
V/Gov Sommai praised the importance of both events, “Tourists come for the beauty of the island and so much of the island’s revenue is dependent on its natural beauty and splendour, so raising the awareness of environmental issues and the diving for trash initiative on August 13 will be good for everyone on the island.”
She added that the current number of annual visitors (8 million) will likely increase to more than 12 million in coming years, which will lead to an increase in trash, therefore all interested parties need to work together to reduce waste.
Last year’s Dive for Debris event, turned out to be the biggest reef clean up event ever held in Phuket. It was attended by more than 500 professional divers and 200 volunteers who went out to remove debris from the reefs and beaches of Phuket and other surrounding islands.
One of the organisers of the event, Marc Partiti, explained what exactly will happen this year: “Registration begins at 7.30 am on August 13 and at 8am 14 boats full of professional divers and volunteers will leave from Chalong Pier and go along different organised routes to collect as much trash as possible.”
A little after 5pm, the boats will return to Chalong where they will weigh what they have managed to collect before the waiting garbage trucks cart off the refuse.
The closing ceremony is likely to take place in the evening of August 14, in the Chalong area, although the specific time and location has not been set yet.