As it prepares to host the inaugural PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) Forum 2018, the Phuket Hotels Association has achieved a major victory in its drive to secure a more sustainable future for Thailand’s most popular resort destination.
In partnership with PHIST, the free event that takes place on September 24, Central Group, Robinson Department Store, Tops Supermarket and Family Mart has pledged to stop giving away free plastic bags to its customers on Phuket.
This forms part of a joint initiative with the Phuket Hotels Association, which will see Central Phuket’s customers pay for reusable bags made by orphanages or shelter homes. Proceeds from the sale of these bags will go to the disadvantaged Phuket residents who made them in a joint initiative that is currently in its planning stage.
The re-usable bag scheme marks the first tangible benefit from PHIST, ahead of the organisation's inaugural event at JW Marriott Phuket.
“Central Group is Thailand’s largest and leading retail group, so its pledge to significantly reduce the use of plastic bags is hugely significant,” said Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association. “This is a wonderful example of cross-sectoral collaboration, as two of Phuket’s biggest industries – tourism and retail – come together for the benefit of the island. We look forward to achieving more positive partnerships through PHIST as this exciting event draws closer.”
Central Phuket’s boss Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree added: “Plastic waste is one of the biggest problems facing the world today, especially in coastal destinations like Phuket. So we are delighted to partner with PHIST and the Phuket Hotels Association to help cut plastic waste on the island. This campaign, which is part of our wider commitment to plastic reduction, will help the people of Phuket while also preserving the island’s environment.”
The pledge for Central Phuket to stop giving plastic bags to customers will initially be limited to the company’s department stores in Phuket, but if successful it could be rolled out, including to Central’s supermarkets.
The company has already committed to stop giving plastic bags to its supermarket customers on the third day of each month.