As you already know we clean our bit of beach every day, organise underwater and beach clean ups and other locations and get our divers involved too.
Recently however we have noticed a large build up of rubbish at the roadsides which was something we really wanted to act on before the monsoon rains came to wash it all into the ocean.
The job was far too big for just us so we started by raising the issue for help at one of the regular Save Koh Tao meetings. Save Koh Tao are a charity organisation set up to deal with some of the environmental problems the island faces.
Save Koh Tao also organizes their own monthly clean ups so this was the best place to start with getting help. Together we set a date and all agreed to join forces to help promote the clean-up.
Usually this is only promoted to dive centres. This time we produced information in both Thai and English that we could show around to the other non diving local businesses informing them of what we were doing and asking them if they wanted to help out.
We had a great turn out with over thirty people coming along to help out. We started at the main pier on the beach and made our way down the beach to the Songserm ferry pier picking up the rubbish as we went. Next we headed away from the beach up the main road to tackle the main problem of the trash which had collected on the roadside.
There is rubbish collection on the island but not road sweeper or litter pickers that most western countries are used to. In order for it to be taken away it needs to be bagged.
With monsoon on the way we just couldn’t bare leaving it to get washed in the ocean, passing the problem onto someone else but also the harm it would do to the aquatic life. Many hands make light work and it didn’t take long at all, in no time the road sides were looking much better.
All that was left to do was thank everyone for helping out which included Koh Tao Villas who kindly sent a pick-up truck around to collect all the bags, take them straight to the tip and to be recycled and disposed of properly. 7-Eleven sent over ten of their staff to help out, along with workers from Zest and Tattoo, Sunset and New Heaven Dive School. Last but not least the nice lady in the shop we passed who provided us all with refreshments.