The cleanup was organised by officers from Phuket’s Sirinath National Park, park chief Natthawat Nuisriram explained to The Phuket News.
The cleanup began at 10am, with five park officers taking part, eight national park divers along with expats and other local residents lending a hand, he explained. In total about 50 people joined the cleanup, which continued until about midday, he added.
About 1.2 tonnes of waste was collected from the beaches, and a further 300 kilograms if waste was recovered from underwater areas off Nai Yang Beach, Mr Natthawat explained.
“They collected all different kinds of garbage, mainly marine debris such as plastic and glass, pieces of foam, plastic water bottles and pieces of discarded fishing nets,” he said.
“About 80% of the garbage collected had been washed ashore from the sea, pushed onto the beach by the wind and waves.
"Most of the waste recovered in the underwater cleanup was discarded fishing nets. The divers saw it had become caught on the coral reef, and some corals were damaged," he added.
Chief Natthawat invited people to help keep the beaches clean, and thanked those who already lent a hand in keeping Phuket beautiful.
“We go out to collect trash from the beach in the national park every day. Yesterday, park officers joined with hotel staff to clear about 50kg of trash from Layan Beach,” he said.
"Please come and join us. We welcome everyone to help clean the beach together. To join our cleanups, please contact us through our Facebook page or call the park at 076- 328226 and 076- 328226," Chief Natthawat added.