The Beaches on Koh Lanta Need More Trash Heroes

(Last Updated On: June 21, 2018)


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.


Trash Hero Koh Lanta


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.


Trash Hero Koh Lanta Beach Cleanups
Trash Heroes keeping Koh Lanta’s beaches clean


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.


beaches on Koh Lanta - Trash Hero beach clean up


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’.

trash hero koh lanta water bottleTheir 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.


The Beaches on Koh Lanta Need More Trash Heroes | Trash Hero water refill map
Click on map to enlarge


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.


trash hero weekly beach clean ups - june 2018 figures
(Figures up to May 2018)


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.


Trash Hero Thailand refillable water bottle and reusable shopping bag


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.



You might also like:

How to Travel Kindly in Thailand: 5 Ways to Be a Sustainable Traveler



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10 Replies to “The Beaches on Koh Lanta Need More Trash Heroes”

  1. hello there,

    It very curious that I bump into your article. In a few weeks I will be travelling to koh lanta.
    It is very sad indeed to know that such paradises are constantly being filled up with trash.
    Also it is so heroic that such organizations like Trash Heroes exist.
    It is so noble of them to clean up all that mess and trash.
    Two thumbs up for their work and this insightful article.

    1. Asen, we hope you have a fantastic time on Koh Lanta.  It’s truly a special place and many people who live here and also many who visit, are trying to keep it clean and beautiful!  Check out the Trash Hero Koh Lanta Facebook page to see if they’re holding any beach cleanups while you’re on Lanta.  They’re really great to take part in.  And don’t forget to buy one of their refillable water bottles. This really makes a huge difference in reducing the amount of trash.  Imagine how many plastic water bottles just one traveller uses on their trip.  Thanks for taking the time to comment and happy holiday!  🙂 

  2. Great article! I was not aware of Trash Heroes and all of the work that they are doing. I have always been an advocate for reusable water bottles and ways that businesses and governments can provide fresh water for filling them up. It is great to hear the progress that has already been made. Do you know how difficult it is to start local chapters in the U.S.?

    1. Hi Kristi, yes refillable water bottles are really a great thing and can reduce plastic pollution so much.  That’s great that you’re thinking about starting a chapter in the U.S.  Trash Hero have some info on their website about how to set up a new chapter –…  They’re already up and running in New York, so it might be worth speaking to the team there about how they set up and see if they can help –…  Which location are you thinking about setting up in?  We’d love to hear how you get on, so keep us posted.  Best of luck!  🙂

  3. Hi,

    I think this a great. This is the first I’ve heard of the Trash Hero. This organization is doing a lot of good for the tourist, beaches as well as marine life. I agree people need to be educated, learn how they can contribute in keeping the environment clean. Selling refillable water bottles will definitely help and contribute for a clean environment.

    Great post. Thank you for sharing this post.

    1. Thanks Rosa.  Yes, Trash Hero is fantastic and we’re really lucky to have them on Koh Lanta.  Their refillable water bottles have really reduced the amount of plastic bottles being thrown away but there’s still a long way to go.  There are a lot of people who are unaware of the impact their trash has on the island but, hopefully over time, behaviour will change.  It’s all about making people aware about the issue.  Thanks for taking the time to comment and for caring. 🙂

  4. Hi, I like your article talking about environment on the beaches. Where we need heroes to be here to make it green and clean. Also i never heard there’s trash heroes in here, but you can save 1 beach how about other beaches which tons of trash.. Probably we need to have more articles, posting and educate people on the correct way of making environment clean. I will give you thumbs up creating this site, it really let people know what is having a clean and green environment.

    Jason Loh
    O-W-M co, founders

    1. Hi Jason, yes we need more education and more people helping to clean up.  The best solution is for people to reduce the amount of trash they throw away, a lot of which ends up in the ocean.  Let’s hope we can make the whole world cleaner and greener one day, not just Koh Lanta 🙂

  5. Hello
    Cool to see this organization exist, I usually pick up trash on my walks here in Denmark. In a couple of days I will travel to Koh Lanta, so I will try to join for a Sunday.
    If I buy One of your bottles, I am i interested to know how the refill water is purified. Can I be sure it is clean and safe enough to drink?
    Best regards

    1. Hi, that’s great news you’re coming to Koh Lanta and want to join the Trash Hero beach clean ups. Thank you so much! The refill water is for sure drinking water. It is 100% safe so you don’t need to worry about that at all. We hope you have a fantastic time on Koh Lanta and love it as much as we do 🙂

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