PHUKET CITY: The launch of a plastic bag charging scheme which aims to reduce the amount of garbage generated on Phuket has been postponed for more than two months.
Phuket Energy Office chief Jirasuk Tummawetch said the slated December 5 launch date did not leave enough time to promote the project sufficiently.
The scheme will see major retailers such as Central, Big C, Tesco-Lotus, Makro, Supercheap and Jungceylon charge shoppers one baht for a plastic bag with a five-liter capacity or less and two baht for larger bags.
Mr Jirasuk was speaking following a meeting to discuss the scheme at Provincial Hall yesterday.
In attendance were new Phuket Vice Governor Teerayut Eimtrakul, Phuket Public Health Office Deputy Director Wiwat Seetamanotch and Nick Anthony, managing director of Indigo Real Estate, who came up with the idea for the project.
“Vice Gov Teerayut commented that to launch the project on December 5 wouldn’t leave enough time to promote the scheme to the island’s residents,” Mr Jirasuk said. “We agreed to postpone until February 14 to give us more time.”
Mr Jirasuk said one idea agreed upon was to record Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop speaking in support of the scheme. The recording would be played on radio stations and on the shop floors of participating retailers.
Local organizations have also been asked to supply cloth bags to substitute for those made of plastic, he said.
Mr Jirasak said Phuket Energy Office welcomes any comments regarding the project and invites anyone with suggestions to call the office on 076-210178-9.
Nick Anthony described government support at both local and national level as excellent.
Central Festival Phuket will host a public awareness campaign next Monday morning with 40 retailers setting up displays to promote the campaign and bring everybody on board, he said.
Central has also agreed to donate all proceeds from the sale of plastic bags to charity, he said.
Mr Anthony said he hopes that the successful launch will be the first step in a source reduction strategy that will eventually see retailers mutually agree to cut down or even eliminate the distribution of advertising circulars that are also a large component of the waste stream.
He is also working with environmental activist and sea kayak tourism pioneer John Gray to extend the plastic bag strategy to cover Phang Nga Bay as soon as possible.
Asked if major convenience store chains like 7-Eleven were signed up for the initiative, he said the management of CP Group which operates the chain on a franchise basis were seriously considering the proposal.
7-Eleven stores in China and other countries have already started to charge for plastic bags, he said.
Mr Anthony said he hopes support among retailers at all levels will be so thorough that those failing to take part will be boycotted by shoppers.
The delay in the launch is to allow stores time to prepare alternatives to plastic and educate the public, he said.
Mr Anthony said that one of the keys to success would be getting support from local administrative bodies in ensuring that all retailers in their jurisdiction, including small ‘mom-and-pop’ shops, are aware of the campaign and actually take part in it.
— Pimwara Choksakulpan & Stephen Fein
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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