PHUKET: Phuket Governor Pakkapong Tawipat chaired the Phuket Sustainable Tourism Blueprint 2018 seminar today (November 9, 2018) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with leaders of tourism and hotels associations to get rid of foam and plastic.

The MOU focuses on reducing the use of foam and plastic within the tourism industry, businesses as well as local government administration offices.

“When you love something, you have to cherish it. I created the project ‘We Love Phuket’ for this charming tourism destination. If we want to impress tourists, then convenience, comfort, and safety must be our priorities. We have to support each other to take care of more than 10 million tourists every year and to make them want to come back. Today, I see the cooperation among many sectors in taking care of our planet sustainably,” Gov. Pakkapong said.

The sustainable tourism is based on the SCG principle, which stands for Safe & Smart, Clean & Convenient and Green & Global Standard.

Meanwhile, the Former Deputy Director of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) also gave a speech titled “When the Sea Speaks the Truth”, reminiscing about a time when the sea provided income and happiness to a lot of people who did not think about preserving it.

The MOU mentioned that local government administration offices will issue rules and regulations to control vendors and buyers to stop using foam for food container from February 14, 2019, onward while the rule banning plastic bags will be effective from October 1, 2019. This means that all signatories of the MOU must abide by those deadlines and look for alternatives to foam and plastic by October 1, 2019, latest.

They will also stop using plastic straws, a movement that has gathered several hotels and resorts in the recent months, and replace them with natural products that are harmless to the environment, such as bamboo or metal alternatives.