Joint MUIC-EU Cleanup of Koh Sak Beach
Every year millions of tons of trash end up in the ocean. By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Therefore, the European Union, the United Nations and the Smurfs are teaming up. For clean oceans and clean beaches. EU and UN offices all across the world will organise beach cleanup events together with local organisations, schools, etc. (European Commission, 2019).
Mahidol University International College (MUIC) joined hands with the European Union in Thailand (EU in Thailand) in cleaning up the beach at Koh Sak, Pattaya in Chonburi province on September 13, 2019.
The joint project, called EU Beach Cleanup 2019, received support from 154 participants including EU staff and family members, Rethinking Plastics Project volunteers, ICUN members and guests, Starboard staff, journalists, EUPOP team, and volunteers from MUIC and the general public.
H.E. Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, EU Ambassador to Thailand, represented EU in this important activity.
Dr. Wayne Phillips from Science Division led the MUIC contingent. He explained to the volunteers the biology of coral reefs and presented various ways of preserving the marine environment.
Volunteers helped remove recyclable plastics from the beach and shredded them using Project Koh Sak’s shredders.
MUIC Partners with EU in Canal Cleanup Day 2020
According to data from the Pollution Control Department, plastic waste in Thailand has jumped 15%, or up from around 5,500 tons to 6,300 tons a day. In addition, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has found that the amount of food waste and used face masks has increased by 1.5 tons per day.
“Aside from coastal areas, inland waterways also require regular cleanups due to the wastes generated by industries, households, and individuals. It is quite significant that for this project, we have gathered again quite a number of volunteers from various sectors of society. Through the invaluable support of EU, we are not just doing a cleanup but also instilling in the next generation the importance of taking care of the environment,” said Dr. Wayne N. Phillips, a lecturer of the Science Division of MUIC and co-organizer of this activity. He is an environmental advocate who has organized several beach cleanup projects over the years.
Mahidol University International College (MUIC) partnered with the European Union (EU) in its environmental project dubbed Canal Cleanup Day 2020 held on September 18, 2020 at Bangkok’s Lat Phrao Canal.
Shifting from the usual beach setting to Lat Phrao Canal in Bangkok, the cleanup campaign aimed to expand its impact by allowing the participants to experience first-hand the magnitude of the waste problem in general and plastic pollution in particular and connecting processes in the waste management system.
In addition to the cleanup, which was joined by over a hundred participants, including diplomats and staff from the EU Delegation, representatives from partner organizations, campaign winners and public volunteers, the cleanup day also consisted of two discussions in the afternoon for participants to better understand available solutions to the plastic problem and reflect on their wishes for a sustainable future. In the first discussion, representatives from the EU, TerraCycle and MUIC introduced the concept of circular economy, stressing how the design and production of plastic should be rethought so that plastic items could be used longer and recycled. The second discussion session saw community leaders exchanging views on waste management with the winners of the Trash Me Challenge.
European Commission. (2019). Retrieved on 17 September 2020 from Reference: European Commission. (2019). Retrieved on 17 September 2020 from https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/eu-beach-cleanup-2019_en#:~:text=For%20clean%20oceans%20and%20clean,can%20make%20our%20ocean%20healthier.