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Halting the plastic tide



Community efforts


It’s no mystery that plastic is a huge problem globally. It’s now in the news on a regular basis, there are more and more cities and countries banning single use plastic in the form of straws and bags, and our national treasure Sir Richard Attenborough has brought it into our living rooms with the wonderful Blue Planet series. Thailand is no different than any other country with regards to this, in fact we are in the top 5 single use plastic users in the world and diving daily we can see its impact.


Plastic bags

It started with one of our local supermarkets making a move to charge for plastic bags, something that we have seen in the UK already. This was met with similar feeling and some complained that they couldn’t afford to pay for plastic bags every time they shopped. I remember this clearly back home when the thought of being charged 5p for a bag was unbelievable, but like everything, it became the norm soon enough. To help things move along to the same level here, an idea was born.



The bag plan

T shirt bags… This is when you turn an old t-shirt into a reusable cloth bag without even having to do any sewing! Initially Master Divers were going to take collections of old t-shirts to ‘upcycle’ and then things started to evolve. Pod, one of our local stores, heard about the idea and decided to make their own bags out of their old uniforms, a genius idea! Not only do you have an eco friendly bag, but also amazing advertising for your supermarket. They give the bags out for a small deposit which you can get back when you hand the bag back.


The next to join was PADI. After a request for donations of t-shirts that had been plastered all over our facebook community groups, PADI’s Neil Richardson stepped in with 2 huge boxes of tote bags. They had them sent to KT at their own expense so that we could donate them to our shops. Next Master Divers held a ‘stitch and bitch’ event in the Coconut Monkey where we all sat and made bags from t-shirts over a few gins (even more genius idea if you ask me). The first one was pretty shoddy but we steadily got better under Lynne’s watchful eye.



All the feels

Now we plan to spread the t-shirt bag love and move into more and more shops on Koh Tao until there is no need for anyone to have plastic bags- this is just the start. There is so much potential for the community to make a difference once the plastic habit is broken. It has been such an fantastic communal involvement, and a classic symbol of life on Koh Tao- people working together for a single goal. Thanks to everyone that donated old t-shirts, personal, PADI and from other dive shops. Be prepared to see someone walking around with their shopping in your clothing very soon!!


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