4 Easy Ways To Keep Koh Lanta a Paradise

(Last Updated On: June 22, 2018)

Everyone can help to keep Koh Lanta a paradise.  Single use plastic and our throw away culture is causing a huge problem all around the world.  Our oceans, beaches and wildlife are suffering from our overuse of plastic.

There are though 4 simple things everyone can do to reduce the footprint they leave behind them on Koh Lanta.




Everyone loves Koh Lanta and describes it as an undeveloped paradise.  Sadly though, recent years have seen the island develop more and, let’s be honest, become less clean and idyllic because of this.  Single use plastic is a huge problem all around the world, and especially on small tourist islands like Koh Lanta.

As a small island in the south of Thailand, Koh Lanta isn’t properly equipped to deal with the amount of trash created by its tourism, so it’s got to be down to each of us to help keep Koh Lanta a paradise.  Check out these 4 easy things you can do…


How Can You Help Keep Koh Lanta a Paradise?

1. Say ‘no’ to plastic bottles.


A great way to avoid buying plastic bottles of water on Koh Lanta is to buy a Trash Hero reusable water bottle.  You can refill it with free drinking water at over 65 places on Koh Lanta and also in more than 20 other locations in Thailand.

The bottles aren’t expensive, which means you’ll save money as well as the environment.

Find out where you can buy and refill the Trash Hero water bottles on Koh Lanta and in other parts of Thailand.



2. Say ‘no’ to plastic bags.

Take a reusable shopping bag with you to cut down on the number of plastic bags you use.  There’s no shortage of cotton bags on the island so, if you don’t already have a reusable bag, you can buy one here as a souvenir.  If you want to try saying no to plastic bags in Thai, here’s how:



You can buy some great locally made shopping bags made out of old rice sacks at Aunty Bee’s shop on Koh Lanta Noi.  Check out her Facebook page for more info and directions to her shop.


Eco Bags made from rice sacks


3. Say ‘no’ to plastic straws.

Say no to plastic straws.  Most drinks really don’t need them anyway, so say ‘no straw’ when you’re ordering a drink.  This is how you say it in Thai:



There are quite a few places on Koh Lanta that don’t use plastic straws.  Find out more about them here and also where you can buy reusable straws on Koh Lanta.



4. Clean the beach.

Be a Trash Hero and pick up any trash you find on the beach.  Even picking up a small amount helps, as it stops it being washed back out to sea.  You could also join Trash Hero Koh Lanta on one of their weekly beach cleanups. They take place every Sunday at 4 pm.  Check their Facebook page for the location.

Find out all about Trash Hero and how you can be a Trash Hero on Koh Lanta.



Lanta’s Rubbish!

An increasing amount of tourists are visiting Koh Lanta every year to enjoy its laid-back charm, relax on its beautiful beaches, swim in the clear blue Andaman Sea, and see marine life while snorkeling and scuba diving.  Sadly though, without meaning to, they are threatening the very place they love.

As a small island with a fairly undeveloped infrastructure, coping with the amount of trash generated by its tourists, as well as the growing volume being washed up onto its beaches, is a big problem. Getting on top of this rubbish situation will really help to keep Koh Lanta clean and less spoiled.

The waste management system here is struggling with the increase in tourism and it definitely needs improving, but hopefully that will happen over time.   Koh Lanta is lucky to have its own fairly new recycling centre though, so at least less trash is ending up in landfill nowadays (or worse, being burned).




While recycling more is definitely a positive thing, we still need to try to reduce the amount of trash we generate in the first place.

Around 50% of the things we throw away each day have been used only once, and most is made from plastic, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.


Be The Change

You don’t need to be an eco-warrior to make a difference. All you need to do is make a little effort to reduce the amount of trash you generate, and especially reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use.

We come to Koh Lanta because we love it but, ironically, we’re ruining it just by being here.  Imagine how much we could reduce the rubbish here if everyone who visits or lives on Koh Lanta follows these four easy steps.  Every one of us can help to keep Koh Lanta a paradise.


You might also enjoy:

Koh Lanta’s Eco-Friendly Businesses



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4 easy ways to travel sustainably on Koh Lanta Thailand


18 Replies to “4 Easy Ways To Keep Koh Lanta a Paradise”

  1. Great article and you are right about Koh Lanta. I lived in Trang about 2 years ago for about 2 years. I had to go to Koh Lanta for some business and was bummed at what trash has done (or rather people) to this potentially wonderful island. I’m glad you are bringing some real value to Thailand and the Thai people, rather than complaining and doing nothing as many farang do.

    1. Yes, it’s such a shame to see beautiful parts of the world destroyed by tourism.  There are a lot of people on Koh Lanta who care about preserving the environment and are trying hard to make sure Koh Lanta remains a paradise.  If we don’t act now, it may be too late in the near future, as there are plans to build a bridge connecting Koh Lanta Noi with the mainland, which means more tourists will likely come here when the journey is even quicker.  There’s also a new, bigger main road under construction right now, so it looks like Koh Lanta is really gearing up to expanding.  We just hope enough people act to ensure Koh Lanta develops as sustainably as possible and preserves its beautiful environment.

  2. I’ve never been to Koh Lanta and would love to visit one day. I have been to similar places and the vibe for the locals from the tourists seems to be the same. I think there needs to be more signs or something to encourage people to look after the natural beauty and not ruin it for other people.

    1. Koh Lanta is a really beautiful place – the whole Krabi region and the nearby islands are all stunning. It’s definitely worth visiting this part of the world. We’ll try to keep the beaches nice and clean for you! Really, in the high season, they are generally lovely and clean because the beachfront businesses keep their area of beach clean and tidy. The rubbish on the beach is more of a problem in the low season, which is just coming to an end now. We still need to encourage tourists to use less single-use plastic though, to reduce the amount of trash thrown away. Hopefully, by creating awareness, we can create a change! 🙂

  3. There’s nothing more painful than seeing a beautiful beach or forest littered with trash. People need to be mindful of what damage they can do and work hard to limit it, especially with something as simple as trash removal. I’ve lived places where littering is punished by extreme fines and social consternation, and also places where trash sorting and recycling is mandatory. More places should have strict policies around these issues so we can keep our world gorgeous.

    1. It’s really heartbreaking to see how much trash is out there in the sea and ending up on beautiful beaches.  It’s almost as though humans treat the sea as a big dustbin.  Southeast Asia definitely needs to do something about its lack of proper waste management and, hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later.  Tourist areas especially need to get on top of the problem otherwise they might suffer economically.  The first step is getting people to acknowledge there’s a problem though and stop burying their heads in the sand! 

  4. I have never heard of Koh Lanta. It looks amazing. I am curious where it is and what country it is in? I was really taken back at how long it takes for some things to recycle. Kind of scary actually. You have definitely convinced me, even here in the USA, to be proactive and stay away from products that are just not good for the environment. I think the biggest one is the plastic bottles. I try to recycle everything I can in my recycle bin, but I am ready to work a lot better at that!

    1. Koh Lanta is a beautiful little island in the south of Thailand. It’s more famous neighbours are Phi Phi islands (where The Beach was filmed, with Lenoardo DiCaprio) and Phuket, which is a lot larger and more developed than Koh Lanta.  It is very scary and depressing when you see the amount of trash washing up on the beaches (mainly in the low season when it’s more stormy).  It’s a big problem everywhere now – a lot of once pristine beaches now regularly get covered in plastic trash.  Let’s hope people wake up and change their behaviour quickly!  That’s great that you want to be more proactive.  Thanks for your comment and for caring 🙂

  5. Thanks for this post. We definitely need to do our bit by reducing the waste problem. I stand by the waste management principle – reduce reuse recycle and I believe everyone should as well. It is sad to see a lot of thrash washing up on beaches. I have never been to Thailand hopefully someday I’ll visit.

    1. Thanks for your comment Bea. It’s very sad to see humans literally trashing the planet but we hope, on Koh Lanta, we can start reducing the impact we’re having on this beautiful place. Come visit some day. It’s really is a beautiful part of the world, and hopefully we can keep it that way 🙂

  6. Wow, that is amazing and depressing looking at all of that trash. I am so glad to see they are moving in the right direction to recycle and clean up as much as possible. I have never been to Koh Lanta, but it looks like a beautiful place. I really hope they keep fighting the good fight. Obviously plastic is such a big problem, all over the world, unfortunately. I noticed in the video they mention that sorting is not required, but helpful. That is great because just getting all of the trash in one place to sort it is a big step. This is really eye-opening and encouraging. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Yes, it’s great that Koh Lanta has a recycling centre now, and we agree with you that it seems a bit crazy they’re not asking people to sort their recycling but, instead, are going through all the trash that is sent to landfill.  It takes a while to change people’s habits but hopefully things will change for the better, as long as enough people try to instigate a change.  There are thankfully plenty of people making an effort to keep Koh Lanta beautiful, so let’s hope it remains so.  Thanks for your comment and come visit Koh Lanta one day 🙂

  7. This is a true eye-opener article.
    Plastic pollution is a real threat to the environment. I’ve seen this happen to a fairly large extent at a beach town in Brazil.
    Tourists were – inadvertently – polluting this once virgin fishermen beach: soda cans, plastic bags, glass bottles were thrown all over the place.
    Things completely changed once the local community got organized and started promoting awareness campaigns, just like you’re doing.
    I wish you great success and hope that other people get inspired by you.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment.  Plastic pollution is a big problem now everywhere but harder for small tourist places to cope with it.  Thailand loves using plastic too, and so many plastic bags and single use plastic is given out in shops.  You buy one small bottle of water in 7-11 and it gets put in a plastic bag with a plastic straw!  So, we really have to get the locals and the tourists to change their habits.  That’s great news that the town in Brazil managed to make a change.  Things are really starting to get better here now more people are talking about it. It’s good for businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices.  A lot of eco-friendly things actually save the business money, as well as attracting customers.  Have a great day 🙂

  8. Great article. I love all your pictures, so beautiful. If only everyone would be like you guys. I can’t even go outside without seeing trash blowing down the sidewalk or piled in the ditch. I always try to recycle where I can or I reuse much of my plastics until they can’t be used anymore. Hopefully people will start pitching in before it’s to late.

    1. Awesome, that’s great that you reuse and recycle. Well done! Seeing trash on the roads and beaches is so depressing. It’s a mixture of businesses providing people with too much single use plastic, customers consuming too much, and local authorities not managing the trash properly. It’s a big problem to fix but the more we talk about it, hopefully the more chance there is of finding solutions and changing it. Thanks for your comment Lynda and keep up your good work 🙂

  9. I really hope that one day all people start to care about the nature and all her beauty. There are plenty of organizations and people who are doing everything they can in order to save the world from trash and I’m proud being one of them. I’m planning to visit Koh Lanta one day and hoping this trash problem will be no more. Great article, thank you!

    1. Yes, everyone needs to make more effort.  Dealing with all the trash generated by tourism is especially hard on a small tourist island because the infrastructure is less developed than people are used to back home.  Also people often use more single use plastic when they’re traveling and are away from their homes.  It’s really important for tourists to think about the amount of trash they generate when they’re traveling and, where possible, make efforts to reduce it.  And, hopefully, the more people who say no to single use plastic, the more businesses will stop providing these items.  Koh Lanta has lots of eco projects that aim to tackle the huge amount of waste generated by its tourism but it’s also down to the tourists to act responsibly.  Thanks for your comment and we hope you visit Koh Lanta one day and enjoy its beauty.

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