Phuket Challenge: stickk to no bags for a week

PHUKET: I challenge you. Yes, you – whoever you are – to go one week in Phuket without using a single plastic bag. The number of foreign whingers who waddle onto this beautiful island shouting about Thai ignorance in double-bagging that fried sausage on a stick… and then go buy a double-bagged sausage on a stick is dumbfounding.

It was heart wrenching to see the photo on page one of last week’s Phuket Gazette where the dolphin had a blue plastic bag stuck on its dorsal fin – then to learn that so many of the deaths of dolphins and turtles in the region are from plastic bags. Disgraceful.

It will be a surprise if any of you who aren’t already used to avoiding plastic bags will make it two days, let alone an entire week.

Our lives are wrapped up in plastic bags and most of us don’t even realize the level of dependency – like any junkie. Our groceries from Villa Mart, Big C and Tesco are piled into plastic bags. Our runs to Central Festival for new shoes, socks or pants inevitably send us packing home with plastic bags. Our morning, midday or midnight snack from the roadside food vendor leaves us searching for bins to get rid of a few plastic bags.

The gauntlet has been thrown, so stick to it. No cheating.

Just to make sure you aren’t wrapping anything in needless plastic, set the goal on line with The site, founded by behavioral economists and reviewed by the New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post and so on, keeps things simple. Set the goal (no plastic bags for a week); set your stakes – that’s right you can lose cash, but you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is; get a referee; and add some supportive friends.

If it were going to cost you 1,000 baht to use a plastic bag, would you really grab it? Yet, you do grab it regularly… and it’s costing Phuket so much more.

So learn the phrase ‘mai sai thoong’, which means don’t put it in a bag – among other things – and stickk to the challenge.

— Tony Kleinschmidt


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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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