Trash Hero Koh Phangan

The Trash Hero Koh Phangan mission is to create sustainable, community-based projects that remove existing waste, and reduce future waste by inspiring long-term behaviour change. We do this through:

  • Action and Awareness. We pick up trash. Whether a cigarette butt on the road, or 20,000 kilos from the islands beaches – if we see it, we clean it! And as they say, actions speak louder than words. By spending just a few hours together picking up trash, people can see the real world consequences of being careless about waste
  • Education. We back up hands-on experience with educational information about the impact that trash has on the global environment
  • Sustainable Projects. We create long-term projects that bring communities together to remove and better manage their waste, and strategies that reduce the amount of waste being produced in the future
  • Inspiration. We motivate people to become Trash Heroes in their everyday lives. Trash Hero Thailand alum have gone home to make their own heroic clean-ups around the world.

Trash Hero Koh Phangan believes that every one of us can be a Trash Hero – whether on Koh Phangan or anywhere else around the globe.

Weekly Cleanups

No Cost. No Sign-Up. Just Show up to Trash Hero Koh Phangan – While solving the global garbage problem may be complex, knowing what to do about the garbage that is currently littered on our Koh Phangan beaches and in our local areas is relatively simple: pick it up.

  • What’s the idea? With the support of local businesses, people come together once a week to pick up trash (e.g. donated resources + volunteers = cleaner environments)
  • When and where is this happening? At the time and location designated each week by the local Trash Hero chapter
  • Is there any cost or sign-up? There is no cost and need to sign-up for volunteers – just show up at the designated time and place. Participating local businesses each week generously donate gloves and trash bags, food and beverages, and transportation when needed
  • Does it work? As of September 15, 2015, 5’000 volunteers have removed 100 metric tons of garbage from the beaches of Thailand and Indonesia
  • Want to join a weekly cleanup? Find out where and when here
  • Want to know how to organise a weekly cleanup in your community? It’s easier than you think. Click here to find out how.

Bottles and Bags Program

Less plastic used means less to pick up later – What’s better than picking up trash from beautiful places? Making sure that it doesn’t end up on a beach (or anywhere else) in the first place!

  • What’s the idea? The Trash Hero Bottles & Bags program aims to substantially reduce the amount of plastic bottles and bags that end up on the beaches, in the sea, and in our communities by providing reusable replacements which not only benefit the environment, but also consumers and businesses
  • How do the water bottles work? Trash Hero sells stainless steel water bottles to local businesses (in Thailand for 100 baht, at no profit to Trash Hero). Local businesses can then sell those bottles to customers – but only if the local business agrees to have a refill station that provides anyone with a Trash Hero water bottle, no matter where the bottle was purchased, with unlimited free drinking water
  • What about the bags? Beginning in December 2015 in Thailand, Trash Hero will also make reusable, packable, shopping bags available to businesses, which they can then sell at a minimal mark up to customers instead of giving them plastic bags
  • What are the benefits of the Bottles & Bags program? The environment benefits because less plastic is consumed, and thus less plastic thrown away. Businesses benefit because they have an environmentally responsible product to offer their customers, while still making a profit. The bottles and bags also give customers a reason to visit participating businesses, to purchase reusable bottles and bags, or to refill the water bottles. And consumers benefit by having an environmentally responsible choice available, and a product that can be used over and over again. The cost of the water bottle itself can be recovered after only 10 refills! It’s win, win, win!

Want to know how to bring the Bottles & Bags program to your business or community with the Trash Hero Koh Phangan? It’s easier than you think. Click here to find out how.

Community Waste Management

Promoting clean communities for everyone – Although many of us are blessed with well-functioning municipal waste management programs, many do not have easy or convenient ways to get rid of trash and other waste. Historically, in small and rural communities, trash and other waste is burned or hidden out of sight. Unfortunately, the amount of plastic and other toxins in modern waste makes burning and burying garbage dangerous for animals, people and the environment.

  • What’s the idea? Provide garbage receptacles and volunteer-driven waste pick-ups in rural and small communities that currently do not have publicly provided waste management services, and discourage the burning and burying of garbage
  • How does it work? Volunteers arrange with local community members to use designated waste receptacles to separate garbage. On pre-arranged days they then pick-up the waste using sidecar-motorbikes, pick-up trucks, longtail boats or any other appropriate transportation donated by local businesses or owned by Trash Hero community members. In addition to trash bins, Trash Hero sponsors can provide communities with trash bags and gloves to conduct community cleanups
  • What kind of trash can be collected? All kinds – from household garbage to used motor oil, and other hard-to-discard items such as electronics and motorbike/car batteries.

Article and images courtesy of Trash Hero Koh Phangan.