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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is expediting the collection of a large amount of garbage found in the Gulf of Thailand and has ordered officials to lay down long-term solutions.
After images were circulated on social media of a garbage patch floating about 30-40 kilometers off the coast of Chumphon province, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanjanarat has instructed the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to look into the matter and take swift action to minimize its ecological impact.
Ms Suthiluck Raviwan, Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, revealed that officials have been able to retrieve as much as 5.5 tons of trash from the site and over 80,000 pieces were plastic waste. She affirmed that the effort will continue until the area is completely rid of garbage.
The department is cooperating with the Marine Science Association of Thailand and other concerned agencies in drawing up academic suggestions for eliminating marine garbage in a concrete and sustainable manner.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion is planning to organize public hearings in search for legal measures to reduce the use of plastic in the country. The measures are to be piloted in the coastal provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani.