Cleaning Thailand’s River of Kings

Cleaning Thailand’s River of Kings

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 25 Oct 2023

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 25 Oct 2023

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Europe and Thailand have joined forces to clean plastic waste from the Chao Phraya River – the River of Kings – using a high-tech boat, drones and artificial intelligence as Thailand continues to make gains in the battle against marine plastic pollution.

The effort is a collaboration between the Ferry Porsche Foundation, the Audi Environmental Foundation, the green start-up everwave, and the TerraCycle Thai Foundation. The Europeans are providing technology while TerraCycle is adding local know-how to tackle root causes.

The Chao Phraya is the major river of Thailand. It winds from central Nakhon Sawan province past Bangkok’s most important and spectacular temples and the Grand Palace before spilling into the Gulf of Thailand.

But plastic pollution is a problem in the Kingdom, just as it is in many countries. In recent years, Thailand has taken a proactive and leading role in tackling marine pollution in the region, negotiating agreements in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for its nine other member countries to clean up and prevent plastics and other waste from damaging the seas.

But the seas are also being polluted by plastics spilling into them from rivers. An estimated of 385 tons of plastics flow into the Gulf of Thailand through the Chao Phraya River every year. Rivers are, in essence, functioning as “plastic highways” according to the partners in the cleanup.

“A lot of the plastic in the Chao Phraya comes from open landfills in the region,” says everwave CEO Clemens Feigl.

“So, it’s not enough to simply fish the garbage from the river. We need to address the root causes. That’s why our cooperation with the TerraCycle Thai Foundation is so important. We are supporting facilities for sorting and recycling. And in the long term, we want to establish collection points and containers too,” he said.

In support of that, the campaign is engaging in environmental education measures, visiting schools, community organizations and businesses to inform and hopefully change behaviors to stop pollution at its source.

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