A Trash Hero “wastes as little as possible, reuses as much as possible, and works to preserve and improve the spaces they are in, wherever they may be”. Find out how you can be a trash hero and keep the beaches on Koh Lanta clean.
Everyone loves Koh Lanta’s beaches but, sadly, they are seeing the effects of the increasing amount of plastic pollution out there in our oceans. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing volume of rubbish being washed up onto beaches around the world, and Koh Lanta is no exception.
The resorts, bars and restaurants on the beaches here keep their area of beach nice and clean in the high season, but they only tend to clean their immediate area, and the areas that don’t have a business on them generally don’t get cleaned every day.
During the low season, a lot of the beachfront businesses are closed and the weather is more stormy, so there can be a lot more rubbish on the beaches at this time of year.
Seeing beaches on Koh Lanta covered in trash isn’t really what people want when they visit paradise. More importantly, if it’s not picked up, it will be washed back out to sea, polluting the water and harming marine life. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to clean up the beach on your relaxing holiday in paradise, but plastic pollution in our oceans is an ever growing problem and Koh Lanta is a small island with limited resources, unable to easily cope with the problem. Many people (locals, expats and tourists) clean the beaches when they can, and Trash Hero Koh Lanta holds regular beach cleanups, but Lanta really needs everyone to be a hero in order to make a lasting difference.
YOU can be a Trash Hero on Koh Lanta’s beaches (and on any beach in the world), by picking up trash, even if it’s only a small amount and, most importantly, making an effort to reduce the amount of trash you generate.
Trash Heroes Around the World
Trash Hero carries out weekly beach cleanups in various locations around the world, and also aims to reduce waste, and inspire and educate people in order to achieve long-term behaviour change.
Trash Hero began on Koh Lipe, Thailand, in 2013, when a small group of friends who were shocked by how much trash they were seeing washing up onto the beaches, decided to do something about it – clean it up! So began the weekly cleanups Trash Hero has become famous for. They started with less than twenty volunteers and, by the fourth week, had 50. Within a month, 40 local businesses had pledged their support and, in less than a year, Trash Hero won the Thailand Green Excellence Award.
Now, only a few years since it all began on a beach on Koh Lipe, Trash Hero is established in 42 locations in nine countries around the world – Thailand, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, and the United States. More than 60,000 volunteers (including 14,000 children) have taken part in over 2,459 cleanups, removing over 400,000 kg of trash from beaches, oceans, waterways and roads.
Trash Hero Water Bottles
Trash Hero isn’t only about cleaning up beaches. They also have a Bottles and Bags program, which aims to reduce the amount of plastic bottles and bags people use, so creating less waste and less damage to the environment. Their mission is to ‘reduce future waste by inspiring long-term behaviour change’.
Their stainless steel water bottles are sold to local businesses at cost price and the businesses sell them on for a small profit, which covers the cost of the free drinking water they give out to people who have a Trash Hero water bottle.
When you buy a Trash Hero water bottle, you can fill it up with FREE drinking water at any of the participating businesses.
There are over 65 businesses on Koh Lanta selling the water bottles and giving out free refills, so you’ll never be far from somewhere to refill your bottle. Imagine how many plastic water bottles you won’t use if you have a Trash Hero bottle, plus all the money you’ll save.
Check out the map below to find out where you can buy a Trash Hero water bottle and refill with free drinking water on Koh Lanta.
Click here to find out all the other locations around Thailand (and the world) you can buy and refill Trash Hero bottles.
In just a few years, Trash Hero has sold almost 45,000 bottles. They estimate that one refillable bottle prevents 365 plastic bottles being sold, which means their Bottle Program has prevented 16 million plastic bottles being sold. Given that one plastic bottle is thought to take 450 years to decompose, this really is a heroic achievement!
Koh Lanta Trash Heroes
Trash Hero held its first beach cleanup on Koh Lanta in January 2016, at Long Beach park and the nearby beach. 39 people from eleven different countries worked together for two hours, filling 33 bags with trash. Since then, Trash Hero Koh Lanta has held over 100 cleanups, with 1,415 volunteers picking up more than 10,000 kg of trash.
Come along and join them while you’re on Koh Lanta. Everyone is welcome, whether you’re travelling alone, with friends, as a couple, or a family – anyone can be a hero.
Weekly cleanups take place at 4 pm every Sunday. Check Trash Hero Koh Lanta’s Facebook page to find out the location.
Anyone Can Be a Hero!
If you really want to reduce the negative impact you have on Koh Lanta’s environment during your stay here, buying a Trash Hero water bottle is probably the best thing you can do. You’ll not only be reducing the number of plastic bottles thrown away each day, but also the amount of plastic straws and bags, because these are generally given to you when you buy a bottle of water (in 7-11s at least) .
You’ll also be able to use your water bottle in other parts of Thailand, as Trash Hero operates in more than 20 locations across Thailand.
The beaches on Koh Lanta need more heroes to help keep them clean and beautiful, and save the ocean from pollution. You can pick up trash any time, any place, not only during the weekly beach cleanups.
Even if it’s only a small amount, it helps. If you’re taking a walk along the beach but don’t have a bag with you, you could just pick up straws, as they’re easy to carry.
‘Anyone can be a Trash Hero, it’s easy! A Trash Hero wastes as little as possible, reuses as much as possible, and works to preserve and improve the spaces they are in, wherever they may be.’
Find out which Koh Lanta businesses are saying no to plastic straws.
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