Cleaning up Ao Nang, 1 kilo at a time
Ao Nang has been a growing place for some time now – the number of resorts is increasing, the number of restaurants is on the rise, and of course the number of visitors is also on the rise. According to TAT (Thailand Authority of Tourism) the number of visitors to Krabi has nearly doubled in the last 4 years and each year sees more visitors then the last.
With the increase of foot traffic into the area, comes the inevitable added waste generated both in terms of contained waste (waste water, garbage inside the resorts etc.) and also uncontrolled waste (plastic bags in the ocean, cigarettes butts on the beach and general trash which doesn’t make it to the waste bins).
Trash Hero Thailand was started as a means to combat this growing issue across the country. Having their primary base in Satun on the island of Koh Lipe, Trash Hero has become a growing part of the community on Koh Lipe since 2013. Drawing in many of the locals to help with the weekly cleanups, Trash Hero attracts the support from a number of the resorts and businesses to sponsor the cleanups.
Now that the beaches in Koh Lipe are clean, the team of motivated and inspiring individuals has decided to spring offshoots, in neighboring Krabi – Lucky us!
Colin Valnion, a native of Canada but with residence in Thailand for 4 years now, is leading the Krabi efforts. “When I came to Nopparat Thara Beach to see the Season Opening Festival (also called the Beurt-Faa Festival), I noticed afterwards that there was a lot of plastic bottles, bags, cigarette butts and general trash all over the place. I thought, ‘this needs to be cleaned up’, so I contacted Trash Hero and asked if we could start an Ao Nang branch. They said they would be delighted to have me start their secondary branch after Koh Lipe.”
“I then contacted a number of local government officials to help organize the event and possibly invite some school groups to participate. The officials were great. In addition to organizing a large group of school children, there were about 20 officials who joined the effort as well.” Colin explains.
Trash Hero Krabi hosted its first official cleanup at the end of January, after organizing with local officials and with local media such as Krabi Magazine and Facebook. The turnout was tremendous – over 150 people come to the first cleanup and collected just over 300 kilograms of trash from the Nopparat Thara area. The efforts have continued every Sunday since then, and in 4 weeks of work, Ao Nang Trash Hero has collected 1255 kilos of trash. The turnout has been continually high and the community support has been significant.
Trash Hero will continue to be a weekly event, and long term plans to address the waste problems in other areas of Krabi could be realized with continued support. If you have some time and want to be a part of the solution, contact them on their Facebook page: