On 21 September 2021, Phuket Environmental Foundation launched a Plastic Packaging-free Restaurant Model with 15 restaurants at the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus to move to sustainable packaging for food delivery and take away. On this occasion, 14 organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together towards a more sustainable and plastic packaging-free island under the project “Less Plastics in Phuket: Reduction and better Plastic Waste Management in Households and Businesses”. The signees include the Governor of Phuket, six local municipalities (Phuket City Municipality, Rawai Subdistrict Municipality, Chalong Subdistrict Municipality, Rassada Municipality, Wichit Municipality, Patong Municipality), the Phuket Provincial Office for Local Administration, the Phuket Provincial Health Assembly, the Regional Environment Office 15, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, the Phuket Provincial Office of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Phuket Environmental Foundation.
The ”Less Plastics in Phuket” project is implemented by the Phuket Environmental Foundation to find solutions to reduce and better manage the amount of plastic waste and educate about sustainable alternatives. Besides the restaurants and the food delivery sector, it works together with schools and hotels and builds a network for marine litter prevention in Phuket. It is one of four pilot projects in Thailand supported by the “Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter” project, funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ.
During the hybrid event, with participants joining both on location in Phuket as well as online, Mr. Narong Woonsiew, Governor of Phuket thanked the project partners and highlighted: “In order to help Phuket be sustainable and beautiful island we need to reduce plastic. Take Pinto is a great initiative.”
The Governor of Phuket assigned Mr. Anuparp Rodkwan-Yodrabam, Deputy Governor of Phuket to deliver the opening remark. He mentioned: “As a responsible agency overseeing and solving waste problems, I am glad that everyone supports each other to drive this activity. It will bring great benefits to Phuket by supporting various agencies to tackle the solid waste problems”.
Mr. Anupap Vejvanichsanong, Deputy Chief of Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO) added: “I know it is a challenging task for all stakeholders but what I experience today makes me believe that this cooperation can overcome the obstacles by working together. Applying pinto to replace plastic packaging is another opportunity to reduce waste in Phuket”.
Under the Plastic Packaging-free Restaurant Model, an initial number of 15 restaurants will replace single-use plastics packaging by applying for example Pintos, the stacked food boxes used in Thailand.
“We aim that more restaurants join the model in the next months. In addition, we work with schools, hotels and communities on the island to reduce plastic waste”, outlined Mr. Viroj Phutong, Chairman of the Phuket Environmental Foundation.
Mr. Alvaro Zurita, GIZ Team Leader of the “Rethinking Plastics” project said: “The project in Phuket is a great opportunity to work jointly on solutions, to test new approaches and to learn from good practices and I am looking forward to continue the activities and exchanges on this very important topic.”