The Phuket Hotels Association has joined forces
with the U.S. Embassy Science Fellowship (ESF) Program with the
aim of eliminating single-use plastics at the island’s hotels.
Founded in 2001, the ESF Program promotes
bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and technology.
Since it was launched, nearly 300 scientists have provided their
expertise to projects around the world.
Under the latest project, Dr. Marissa Jablonski,
an appointed Fellow of the program, is conducting a 60-day research
project in Phuket. Using the latest
technology and data collection tools, she will investigate plastic
use and waste management at the island’s hotels and resorts. At
the end of her assignment, Dr. Jablonski will create a final
report detailing recommendations for the elimination of single-use
plastics at all Phuket hotels and resorts.
“So much depends
on the health of our oceans,” said U.S. Ambassador to
Thailand, Glyn T. Davies (pictured). “That’s why the U.S. Embassy is very
excited to engage in this unique project with the Phuket Hotels
Association to reduce and eliminate marine plastic pollution. This
complex challenge requires creative solutions such as this
public-private partnership. During her time in Phuket, Dr. Jablonski will work with business, government, civil society, and
others to raise awareness on this issue and put forward concrete
While Thailand is only the 20th most populous
country in the world, it is believed to be among the top six
plastic polluters. If urgent action isn’t taken, there could be
more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. This would
have a devastating impact on marine environments and food chains.
Anthony Lark, President of Phuket Hotels Association,
“Plastic pollution is one of the most critical issues facing the
planet today. The world’s oceans and the creatures that depend on
them are choking on plastic and it is our duty to tackle this
problem. Our collaboration with the U.S. Embassy is another
example of how the Phuket Hotels Association is taking decisive
action to preserve our local environment. Dr. Jablonski's
recommendations will pave the way for our member hotels to
overhaul their waste management techniques and eliminate
single-use plastics. If these practices are put into action at all of our 70-plus member properties, it will have an incredible
impact on the local environment.”
Reducing plastic is one
of the Phuket Hotels Association’s primary goals. It has already
set up a working group dedicated to eliminating plastic water
bottles in hotel rooms and reducing other single-use plastics
within the hotels, such as drinking straws.
Hotels Association also conducts regular beach clean-up events and
hosts staff training and education workshops on the negative
impact of plastic on the environment. To facilitate this, the
Phuket Hotels Association has even translated and created Thai
subtitles for the documentary “A Plastic Ocean,” in partnership
with the Plastic Oceans Foundation.
Teaming up with the ESF
Program marks the next major step in the association’s efforts to
tackle plastic pollution. Dr. Jablonski is an expert in her field
and will work alongside the Phuket Hotels Association, member
hotels, and local authorities to analyze and evaluate waste
management at hotels and resorts across the island. She will also
seek to raise awareness within the community about marine plastic
pollution, including educational visits to local schools.
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