Green Pattaya Celebrating 70 Cleanings
By Green Pattaya
Neo, the founder of Green Pattaya.
It all started with a man running in the hills of Pattaya Thailand. While running, he noticed how much garbage had been dumped in clearings and in the green areas. When you drive car or motorbike you hardly have time to see all of it but when walking or running you become very aware. So in 2013, he decided to do something about it; he founded Green Pattaya as a Rotary Project and over 200 participants came to help with the very first cleanup effort! Since then, there have been 70 official cleanings with schools, companies, and different government agencies participating. The number of participants is constantly changing; sometime Neo cleans alone and sometimes there are hundreds of children helping him.
We Are Losing the Battle Against Plastic
“It is very important to get all the plastic up from ground before the rainy season”, explains Neo.“Once the rain comes it will be all be flushed into the sea”.
Sadly for the environment, we are losing the battle against plastic. One can pick up garbage day in, and day out but if we don’t start banning plastic we will have oceans full of it and soon fish and other aquatic life will start to disappear.
“Since Pattaya is a coastal town and many people come here for the seafood it is crucial to get the plastic cleaned up. Sea creatures eat the plastic, and we then eat them, and then it gets into our system. When you throw your trash away, you hardly think of how that plastic ends up being your dinner!”
“It also sad to see the beaches filled with plastic after storms, what goes down must come up”, continues Neo. “I have been made painfully aware of that now with my daughter playing with old plastic cups and other things washed ashore. Some days when there are strong winds you cannot go in the water it so full of garbage - . It’s sad”.
What is Pattaya City Doing About the Issue?
“People like to blame City Hall for everything, but they did not bring the plastic here. They also have no right to collect garbage on private land. This is where Green Pattaya steps in and does it for them. The” City” also doesn’t remove larger items of trash, out of fear of being sued. Hmm, maybe this 20 year old Jet Ski belongs to someone …?” says Neo, laughing. “It’s also not the city who collect the garbage, it’s private contractors. They only do it from the bin areas, so if you don’t put your rubbish next to the bin it won't get collected.” Green Pattaya has always had the City’s support and feel that they do what they can with the means that they have.
Reporting and How We Can Help
“Green Pattaya do many things every day that people might not be aware of. For example the reporting of the light on the running trail in Big Buddha-- we alerted the city and now its working. We made them fix the pumps on Cosy beach, and Pratumnak soi 4. We just went to city hall, and told them to fix it and within days, the light that had been broken for years was fixed.
“Sitting and complaining about stuff in a bar or on Facebook is not going to help. Tell us where, and explain the issue, and we might be able to get it fixedt”
“It reminds me of our first cleaning. There was a man who wrote to Pattaya Mail and said he had been standing watching us for an hour and did not think we did a very good job. People are funny!”, continues Neo. “I learned that people even take offense by me cleaning”.
The Future of Green Pattaya
“We started a petition to stop 7/11 and others giving out straws. It’s about small steps. Everything is about money and not losing face in Thailand. But I hope before 2020 we will have a ban on plastic bags in Thailand.
If I had more people donate to our cause, I would set up a research and recycling centre. There is so much breaking technology that Thailand could use, like turning styrofoam into oil, and they have even discovered that worms eat plastic. If we had the funds we would set up an education, recycling, and green tech centre”.
You can sign the petition to stop the straws at: http://tiny.cc/xzxyjy
Green Pattaya after four good years is taking one step further towards its mission for a green and clean Thailand. Green Pattaya will in 2016/2017 become a Foundation registered in Thailand; this will help Green Pattaya to grow and Thailand to stay clean in ways not currently possible.
Green Pattaya will have an office in central Pattaya where Green Pattaya can educate others and continue it's work for a greener and cleaner Thailand.
We kindly ask you to look back at what we together with City Hall have achieved: such as Big Buddha Hill that is still not clear of rubbish even after 8 cleanings, the Pratumnak area which took 30 days to make clean and our countless cleanings on Cosy Beach restoring its original cleanliness and order.
However all this costs money and even if Green Pattaya has never before asked you for help we hope in the future you will be able to donate from your heart. Thank you for your support during our 4 years of success; let’s make it even better!
Also If you want to join an event, or get in contact with Green Pattaya they have a Facebook Page. where news of upcoming clean-up events is posted : https://www.facebook.com/GreenPattaya/events/