With the support of the Department of Marine Resources, the Cha-Am Municipality, the National Parks Board and eager locals have gathered on the Cha-Am beach to prepare for future beach cleaning efforts, particularly as World Cleanup day (21st September) approaches.
One group of locals joined the ‘training day’ began by taking beach walks but soon became aware of the rubbish problems and extended their activities to include rubbish collection.
Perhaps this could be referred to as ‘plogging’; a combination of jogging with picking up litter (Swedish: plocka upp). This started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution.
The group refers to itself as ‘Magic Eyes’ a reference to a jingle familiar to many Thais; “Ah! Ah! Don’t litter. Magic Eyes are watching you”, a light-hearted jingle familiar to many Thais promoted by the Thai Environment and Community Development Association. This was to raise awareness about waste reduction and recycling amongst children. Children are encouraged to make ‘magic eyes’ at home, in order to keep tabs on their parents regarding proper waste disposal.The Cha-Am ‘magic eyes’ group has embarked on a project to support a community in Kanchanaburi by literally stuffing plastic bottles with plastic film and other waste before sending the ‘stuffed bottles’ to be made into structural walls at the Kanchanaburi community.
At the completion of waste disposal awareness activities the school kids and other volunteers ventured off on a beach rubbish collection mission. Other waste management training sessions are planned leading up to World Cleanup Day, but remember that the incorrect disposal of waste just might result in a ‘Magic Eyes’ reprimand; you’ve been warned!