The market, which runs from 10am-5pm on every second and last Wednesday of the month, encourages environmental awareness and sustainability, with one of its core aims being to reduce the use of plastic bags.
The launch on July 10 came in the same week that state news agency NNT reported that 45 billion plastic bags are produced and used in Thailand each year, of which 40% – or 18bn – are handed out at fresh markets and street stalls, so Andaman Punsuk is a welcome initiative worthy of our support.
Staff, students, farmers, sellers and local residents attended the launch where Asst Prof PhD Noppadon Chanrawang, Vice President of Student Affairs at PRU, led the opening ceremony and Nithi Raktaetrakuon, the founder of Wong Panit recycling depot and separation plant in Phuket, gave a speech about how to manage recyclable waste effectively.
A host of other educational talks and ‘how-to’ sessions followed. Guests learnt how to install solar panels, dye fabric with natural colours, make natural and healthy fermented drinks, make organic fertiliser and wrap goods in cloth in Japanese furoshiki style to eliminate the need for plastic bags.
And, of course, there were stalls selling fresh produce, such as durian, mangosteen, rambutan and other local fruits and vegetables, as well as street food, including the popular spicy papaya salad and Pad Thai.