One Month Later
by Ben Reeves
In an experiment to see how much rubbish would gather at one of Green Pattaya's favourite clean-up spots, the community eco group returned to Cosy Beach exactly one month to the day since their previous clean-up.
The experiment was a success, of sorts. It proved that the site not only returned to its previous level of messiness -- it went well beyond.
"It got much worse. It's at least double -- maybe triple -- what was here before," said the group's founder, Neo LothongKum. "We came here about six months ago and totally cleaned it very thoroughly over two days and, since then, there's just been more and more rubbish every month. I don't know what to do with it."
Green Pattaya has kept coming back to the same small area on the extreme northern edge of Cosy Beach in the Phratumnak area and, despite their best efforts, the rubbish just keeps coming back. In February, they returned with the support of local hotels including the Nova Group, Siam@Siam and the Siam Bayshore Hotel. Along with Green Pattaya members and City Hall personnel, the clean-up crew this time numbered roughly 40 people. The hotels were also kind enough to supply food to keep everyone going.
However, with high season in full swing, there is more rubbish than ever on this extremely popular strip of sand. "Even with 40 people here, it's still difficult to make an impact. We do clean a lot of it up, but there's so much that we can't get all of the rubbish. We have to leave
some of it behind and people are going to see it as a rubbish dump and just start dumping here again. We need to get it totally spotless," added Neo.
The involvement of the hotels is a major move for Green Pattaya. It is, after all, the hotels and their patrons who make the most use of the area's shoreline. Neo said: "I will try to get that every time. It might be different hotels in future because I don't imagine the same hotels
will want to do it every time. We have so many hotels in Pattaya, though, so hopefully some of the others will turn up next time."
Cosy Beach is not the only site where the scale of the damage is such that it is almost impossible to have a permanent impact. On 29 March, Green Pattaya will be making another attempt on their other regular haunt -- Big Buddha Hill.
"That's also a constant garbage pit, but it is starting to improve. We're starting to push back into the jungle," admitted Neo. "We're starting to get sponsors for the area and some budget for warning signs."
For more information on the next clean-up event, go to facebook.com/GreenPattaya.