Tackling Food Waste in Thailand: Koh Lanta’s New Compost Pick Up Service

(Last Updated On: February 9, 2019)


Koh Lanta has a great new eco-friendly initiative – a food waste composting pick up service organised by Keep Lanta Clean.  This is a first of its kind project in Thailand and we hope it could inspire others to replicate it, especially in areas of Thailand that have a high number of tourists visiting.  This simple grassroots project could really help to reduce the amount of food waste in Thailand that ends up in landfill.

Keep Lanta Clean’s Compost Pick Up Service

A new initiative on Koh Lanta run by Keep Lanta Clean offers a daily food waste pick up service for businesses and individuals.  This is a joint initiative between Keep Lanta Clean, the Koh Lanta Community Compost project, Lanta Thai Cookery School, and Shaan and Jeevan’s Eco-Farm.

The pick up service began as a pilot project at the end of April 2018, with twelve businesses taking part to begin with, to test it out and work out the logistics before expanding it and offering the service to many more Koh Lanta businesses next high season.


keep lanta clean fighting food waste in thailand


How it works

The businesses taking part pay a small fee to cover the costs of running the project, which include the salary of at least one driver and someone to look after the compost station.  Lanta Thai Cookery School very generously bought a truck to be used solely by Keep Lanta Clean (for the compost pick service and also any clean ups they carry out).

Each business has a big plastic container to put their food waste in (fruit and vegetable peeling and other food waste).  These are left out for the driver to collect each morning and are replaced with another empty container to be filled up and collected the following day.

The waste is taken to a newly built compost station on Lanta Noi, located on Shaan & Jeevan’s Eco-Farm in Langsod village.


keep lanta clean fighting food waste in thailand


In the first week of running the service, over 400 kg of food waste was collected.

That’s 400 kg of waste that didn’t end up in landfill. It’s shocking to see how much food waste is produced on a daily basis.  This was from only around 10 businesses, and during low season too.

It’s estimated that Koh Lanta produces over 60 tonnes of rubbish every day during high season and that as much as 70% of this is compostable.  This composting collection service looks set to massively reduce the amount of trash sent to landfill, so it’s not only protecting the environment but it will also produce a rich fertilizer that can be used on farms and gardens on Koh Lanta.

Why it’s important to compost

Throwing food waste out in the garbage is not good for two main reasons:

  1. It lies, smelling bad at the side of the road, attracting flies and ants.  It also attracts dogs that rip open bin bags to get at the food, and then the rubbish ends up blowing around the side of the road.
  2. When the food waste is left rotting in landfill, it creates methane.  Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and leads to global warming.  It’s even more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.


Businesses taking part in the pilot stage

These twelve businesses are part of the pilot phase of the compost pick up service:

In Saladan:

black pearl restaurant koh lanta thailand
Black Pearl restaurant


lemongrass restaurant koh lanta thailand
Lemongrass restaurant


lanta diver thailand
Lanta Diver


hidden depths diving koh lanta
Hidden Depths dive shop


go dive koh lanta
Go Dive


In Phra Ae:

castaway beach resort koh lanta
Castaway beach resort


Cozy Guesthouse Koh Lanta
Cozy Guesthouse, bar and restaurant


sai naam resort koh lanta
Sai Naam Residence


lanta sport resort koh lanta
Lanta Sport Resort


In Relax Bay area:

Happy Veggie restaurant


lazy days beachfront bungalows koh lanta thailand
Lazy Days Bungalows and restaurant


lanta thai cookery school
Lanta Thai Cookery School


Compost Workshops

As well as this new food waste pick up service, Koh Lanta Community Compost also runs regular workshops, in both Thai and English, for businesses and individuals on Koh Lanta.  The workshops teach Koh Lanta locals how to compost their organic waste and make a rich compost they can either sell or use on their plants.

Many businesses have already taken part in these workshops and now compost their organic waste.

Find out more about the workshops and how you can compost at home. There’s a step by step guide in the post showing you how you can easily compost your food waste at home.



Thanks to the hard work and determination of some fantastic local people, Koh Lanta is getting greener every day.  We hope lots of businesses will use this service and the amount of trash ending up in landfill on Koh Lanta will be greatly reduced.  With the various eco-friendly initiatives we now have on Koh Lanta, this looks really likely to happen.

Trash Hero‘s water bottle program has helped to reduce the number of plastic bottles thrown away each day on Koh Lanta, with more and more people using the Trash Hero refillable water bottles.

Find out more about the Trash Hero refillable water bottles – where you can buy them on Koh Lanta and refill with free drinking water.



Also thanks to the team behind Trash Hero Koh Lanta, more and more businesses are saying no to plastic straws and using more eco-friendly alternatives.

Take a look at the Koh Lanta businesses saying no to plastic straws and find out where you can buy stainless steel straws on koh lanta.



Many businesses also save their used plastic straws, bottle tops, fruit cartons and rice sacks, and give them to Aunty Bee’s Handicraft Shop on Lanta Noi, where they’re made into reusable shopping bags, jewellery, hand fans, and table mats.

Find out more about Aunty Bee’s shop and great upcycling projects on Koh Lanta.



Koh Lanta also has its own recycling station now, where plastic, glass, tin etc. are sorted, compressed and taken to the mainland to be recycled.



A big thank you to everyone who has helped to make these eco-friendly initiatives happen on Koh Lanta, and also to everyone who takes part and supports them.

Koh Lanta is becoming greener every day thanks to these people.


You can take a tour of Shaan and Jeevan’s Eco Farm and find out more about their off grid living and the great work they’re doing to make Koh Lanta a more sustainable tourist destination.



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Keep Lanta Clean compost collection service - tackling food waste in Thailand



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