According to the president of the Phuket Hotels Association, Anthony Lark, many hotels in Southeast Asia have plastic problems, and from a 5 star hotel in Patong beach to other hotels all over Phuket, everyone is working towards finding a solution.
Anthony Lark explains that 5 star hotel in Patong beach and other areas see the problem with single-use plastics. While it is convenient to have toiletries in single-use packaging, the collective result of this negatively affects the greater area.
Since the association’s inception back in 2016, hotels have put in a lot of work in identifying ways to lessen their reliance on plastic and tackling environmental issues related to the industry,
This year, hotels have agreed to stop using plastic water bottles and drinking straws come 2019. In 2013, Trisara resort, a property managed by Anthony Lark himself, together with 40 other villas in the area, has reportedly dumped 250,000 water bottles every year. Now, the concerned hotels, resorts, and villas have switched to glass bottles that can be reused.
Local school children and hotel employee also clean up the beaches regularly, making sure that the surroundings are free from plastics and other litter.
Lark explains that the association and the community at large are working together in addressing the problem.
Tourism in Phuket
Phuket, Thailand is similar with Bali, Indonesia and Boracay, Philippines as popular holiday destinations, providing a thriving tourism industry in a country with an economy that leaves a lot to be desired.
The island’s beaches and night life attracts millions of tourists every single year, but this does not come without problems.
Like many Southeast Asian countries, Phuket also faces several problems like inefficient waste disposal, poor waste and water management, as well as traffic congestion. Tourism is great, but countries need to put legislations in place to protect its environment at the same time.
Managing Director for Ocean Conservancy Susan Ruffo explains that despite these challenges, hotels must follow that Phuket has done and lessen their dependence on plastics and plastic products.