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Canal Crusade

Terra Cycle Thai Foundation

July 6, 2024

Challenges

Residents living along the canals have developed a habit of disposing of trash directly into the water, which poses a significant challenge to changing their behavior without strict law enforcement. This habit encompasses not only small items like leftover food and plastic bags but also larger items such as torn furniture, old mattresses, and broken tables and chairs. The escalating use of plastics exacerbates the pollution of waterways, including those like the Chao Phraya River in Thailand. Pollution in waterways remains a pressing environmental challenge, particularly due to the improper disposal of waste by residents along the canals.


Efforts to raise awareness about canal cleanliness and address its root causes are underway, but immediate action is crucial to tackle this pressing issue. According to the TerraCircle Thai Foundation, the average Thai individual disposes of over 1 kilogram of rubbish each day. Compounding the problem, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) faces challenges with its waste management and recycling systems, recycling only 2% of food waste. A major obstacle is the lack of waste sorting by Bangkok residents, resulting in the majority of waste being sent to landfills without proper categorization into organic, inorganic, and hazardous materials.


TerraCycle Foundation: Leading the Charge Against River and Canal Pollution

The TerraCycle Global Foundation's mission is to reduce the flow of plastic waste from rivers and canals before it reaches the ocean, as approximately 80% of ocean waste originates from rivers. The TerraCycle Thai Foundation has been closely collaborating with the Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). Since June 2020, it has operated a site at the Canal Garbage and Waste Disposal Lat Phrao 56 Section, Retention Pond Maintenance Sub-Division 1, to care for the Lat Phrao Canal in central Bangkok, which links Saen Saeb Canal and Song Canal. This 12.56 km long canal was selected, along with eight other sites worldwide, by the Benioff Ocean Initiative at the University of California Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute. These initiatives are supported by a total shared funding of US$11 million over the next three years from the Coca-Cola Foundation.


Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries include both local communities and the broader environment, such as marine life. Moreover, by preventing plastic waste from reaching the ocean, this cleanup effort contributes to global efforts to combat marine pollution and protect the health of our oceans.


Solutions

An immediate approach involved the installation of two "River Plastic Traps" to capture waste from the stream. Following the collection of waste, it is transported to a sorting site in Lat Phrao district, where it is categorized for proper disposal and recycling methods. This step was taken alongside a broader strategy, recognizing that behavioral change takes time but is crucial for sustainable solutions. To support this, an educational campaign was launched to raise awareness among the community.


Budget

The total budget for this volunteer event is Bt28,000, with an estimated cost of Bt1,400 per person. Our proceeds come from sponsorship and the sale of Below the Tides merchandise.

Coming soon

คลีนคลอง ครื้นเครง

1070

kg of waste

20

Volunteers

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