The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Students discover discarded medical waste on Phuket beach

The Year 5 students of Phuket International Academy (PIA) were out on their weekly “Education Outside The Classroom” trip at Naiyang Beach when they came across something a little disturbing. A large, worrying amount of medical waste including needles, syringes, and medical bottles that were caught amongst the driftwood and trash on the sand.

By Dalia Hilmi

Sunday 20 September 2015, 10:00AM

Whether the trash had been dumped by a local clinic or been disposed of offshore and
then washed up, is unknown. But, a concern which has been brought to light is just how
safe this is for not only children, but for anyone spending time there. Who dumped all of
this trash? And why? And what can be done to prevent this from happening again?

The Phuket News paid a little trip to PIA to find out what the kids think and what
they think needs to be done.

Grade 5 teacher, James Weekes explained that the class all agreed what kind of things are at risk in this situation.

“We talked about infection, and how touching syringes and needles can have a lifelong effect, and how we don’t want to risk the children’s lives,” says James.

“We often go and do a beach clean at Naiyang, but this time the job was just far too big for us.”

The general consensus was that more police should be around and people need to be better educated about looking after the environment and how important this is.

“There was so much medical stuff packed together, that it made me think it had been dumped,” said James.

Hunter, originally from Australia, was one of the kids who was deeply angered by this. He said, “I always go to Naiyang on the weekends with my family, but when I came this time I was annoyed. How can people feel like throwing trash like this on the beach. It’s so beautiful, some people just don’t care. I’m so angry and sad.”

Laguna Golf Phuket

Araya also agreed, “I was disgusted that there would be things like this [on the beach]. We found more and more, and I felt uneasy and unsafe.”

The students also voted for more signs, more trash bins etc, to be put in place, but indeed it seems something more extreme needs to be done. “I think the trash needs to be looked at closely in order to try and find the source,” explained James.

“When I see a bunch of medical supplies on the beach, I don’t think it’s going to be tourists or the people who work on the beaches. Because, they want to look out for those who do come and relax on the beach. They’re businesses’ depend on tourists, so you wouldn’t think they’re the ones leaving the big dumps.”

“At the end of the day, we want the beaches to be beautiful and safe. This time, it felt so unsafe. Our health and safety officer who had been on trips with us at the start of the year, said that now we cannot take the children for the timebeing, we cannot risk they’re lives. It’s too dangerous.”

So, indeed more needs to be done. Perhaps this situation will raise awareness, and despite the number of beach cleans up currently in process, having medical supplies being washed up on the beach takes things to a new level. A more dangerous one.

“We found inappropriate things and I was very sad that people don’t care about the environment. I know that we’re all going to stop this,” said hopeful Anissa.

With high-season just around the corner, one can only hope that the beaches return to the beautiful and clean standards that they should be and have been in the past. 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Patong fire destroys 12 shops, causes more than B1mn in damage

Of course, electrical short circuits. That is always the case, same like that 'killing pole'...(Read More)

Japan resumes commercial whaling for first time in 30 years

"Long live the Japanese whaling industry".Capt.Ahab is right !For the sake of saving or cr...(Read More)

Powerful motorcycles to face tougher regulations

What a joke !!! Try improving your stupid & what appear to non existent helmet laws in the first...(Read More)

Japan resumes commercial whaling for first time in 30 years

Long Live The Japanese Whaling Industry ! Greens Cost Jobs & The Only True Wilderness is Betwe...(Read More)

Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

Agree this is not on. The poor animal can't be blamed for doing what comes naturally. But the pu...(Read More)

Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

freaking out people running around angry with long knife or any other weapon should not be accepted....(Read More)

Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

I would like to volunteer,-giving this deranged POS exactly the same treatment !...(Read More)

Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

A lot of water contract talks ( including 30% arrangements?). However, that will not grand Phuket wa...(Read More)

Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

Bang Wad water reservoir is ready for making it a beginners drive for golf players. The grass just n...(Read More)

PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Second Phuket water crisis? ’Peace walk’ monk returns! Dangerously sweet! || July 12

No, not a second water crisis. Phuket still remains in it's 'first' water crisis, as not...(Read More)