In the last decade, the global waste pollution crisis has come to light as more and more reports inform us of the unsustainable trash volume we produce. In almost every country we look, landfills are filling up or waste is slipping into the natural environment. In the extremely diverse composition of waste, plastics in particular has received much attention due to its near everlasting endurance when buried in landfills as they are built to be nigh indestructible. Plastics however do breakdown under the sun’s UV rays, especially in oceans, but only to become small bits of toxic plastic.
The single-use plastic system has provided us with much lifestyle expedience through items such as plastic bags and drink bottles, but it is not without cost. These items, after being tossed, have now reached almost every corner of our land and ocean through holes of our imperfect waste management system. Animals are dying from consuming them and microplastics are leaching into nature. We have learned that plastic as a material itself is not the problem. It is how we produce, use, and dispose it at unmanageable levels for our convenience that is hurting the planet and its wildlife.
In Thailand, conversations about plastics are reaching a crescendo. News that the country is among the top five in the world that account for 60% of plastic pollution in oceans has jolted Thai netizens into becoming aware of its significant role in the matter. In 2018, a pilot whale that died in the southern shores from eating 80 plastic bags weighing up to eight kilograms struck a powerful chord with citizens who care on our responsibility to nature. Now, more Thais are readier than ever to listen and take action on reducing plastic waste. Campaigns to use biodegradable materials or multiuse items are underway and will continue to grow in number and variation. Among these, RefillNotLandfill is coming to Bangkok to help.
RefillNotLandfill’s mission is to cut down the millions of plastic water bottles in Southeast Asia. Their solution is two-pronged: provide high-quality stainless-steel water bottles and work with partners to place free water refill stations. It is their goal to revolutionize the way people, especially tourists, consume water on the go. The holistic approach they have adopted ensures that people have what they need to make the transition away from purchasing plastic water bottles.
Bangkok River Partners have signed a pledge to reduce plastic waste and make changes in their operations to achieve set goals. Hotels and businesses along the river are now collaborating with RefillNotLandfill to provide their guests and patrons with the stainless-steel bottles and refill stations. This will culminate in a sizeable collection of locations where you can buy the bottles and also get your water on the waterfront. Refillable water canisters provided by Partners are printed with a QR Code. Scanning the QR code with your phone will link you to a google map showing refill stations near your current location.
Bangkok River is but one small area in Bangkok where responsible businesses, tourists, and citizens are taking the plastic pollution issue head-on. Anyone can join the movement and assist in campaigns. With RefillNotLandfill, you can purchase your own water bottle or register to become a refill station location. Find out more at www.refillthailand.com.