This claim on Patong Rotary’s website set the tone and highlighted the urgency for community collaboration at Surin Beach last Saturday (September 19), to mark International Coastal Cleanup Day.
The event brought together some 120 volunteers, young and old, including members of various organisations such as the Surfrider Foundation, Clean the Beach Boot Camp, Patong Rotary Club, 7-11, Mad Fresh Events and the Kamala and Surin Beach Clubs, with volunteers representing Europe, the Americas, Russia, China, South Africa and Thailand.
Zazada and Taste Restaurant provided support, pizza and water to the troops who were all under no illusion as to the state of the environment and the scale of the challenges our fragile coast and seas face.
As the Rotary Patong website reports, “A recent study in the journal science revealed that 10 to 28 billion pounds of plastic enter our ocean
In response to this dire situation, over the past 29 years, Ocean Conservancy has
inspired millions of volunteers, as well as industry players, the world over to take action by removing and recording trash during International Coastal Cleanup week.
And so, Phuket’s efforts were centered around Surin Beach last Saturday, where more than 120 young and old energised people gathered to celebrate the beauty of the coast through active physical activities and yoga organised by Krix Luther (The Beach Boot Camp).
Typically, local beach clean-ups only focus on removing rubbish from the beach, which is ultimately transported to Phuket’s overflowing landfill and incinerator in Saphan Hin, where it is either added to the smelly heap, if not incinerated.
But local individuals and organisations are starting to find other, more creative and lucrative use, or reuse, for the rubbish – art!
Much of the clean rubbish collected on Saturday was used to create a piece of “fish” art work, as part of an initiative led by local environment artist Prasopsuk Learviriyapiti, who is working in conjunction with Shipsomnia Save Our Seas (SOS) Beach Festival, a private event to take place on a Coral Island beach on January 4, 2016.
The SOS Beach Festival will represent the climax of a five-day Cruise on the 2,400-capacity Coast of Victoria that departs from and concludes at Singapore, on July 2 and 6, respectively.
The festival will showcase the works of Prasopsuk, along with other local artists such as Pui Ngowsiri, the founder of Love Art Studio and the art village in Phuket, who are working tirelessly to create art installations for the festival, utilising art and sculptures made out of recycled materials collected and cleaned from the beach.
For more information about the festival, go to shipsomnia.com
Meanwhile, following the Surin Beach Clean-up it was announced that a newly-formed Patong Beach Green Club will formally commence regular environmental activities as of September 29. Stay tuned for more news.
Indeed, the environmental future of Phuket is looking bright, as we are sure to see more active involvement by the “Magic Eye” initiative, as well as more beautiful sculptures made of Phuket waste materials set to be installed across the island. Keep on the look out.