We all know that if a bath tub is over flowing you don’t deal with the problem by just mopping the floor.
The same can be said about the plastic crisis. Which is why our Plastic Offset Program doesn’t just focus on cleaning beaches. Our teams are also finding ways to turn off the tap and slow the flow of plastic into our oceans.
POP Myanmar volunteer to support the community
Since our Singaung Chapter was launched in February 2023, the team have witnessed the dumping of garbage in the environment, into rivers and directly onto the shores. In efforts to combat this, team leaders have provided environmental education to community members and taken part in volunteering activities. As a result of the teams engagement the village administor has spoken up about the dumping of waste. However the main issue stemmed from the fact that most people had nowhere to properly dispose of their waste.
Therefore, the Singaung team consulted with the village administrator, volunteering to help to solve the problem. The village residents were informed that they could use a local landfill site, however, due to monsoon rains the road to the waste disposal site was damaged and difficult to pass.
On 14th July 2023, after further negotiations with the local administrator, Inkyinn, Singaung Team Leader Htein Lin and 13 collectors volunteered to repair the road. The team worked together to repave the road and then, to protect the rocks from erosion, they put up wooden fences on either side.
After a total of 2 days volunteer work the road was usable again!
Waste Management in Myanmar
Myanmar has been grappling with a weak waste management system, posing significant environmental and public health challenges. The country’s urbanization and population growth have led to an exponential increase in waste generation, straining the already inadequate infrastructure.
Major issues plaguing waste management in Myanmar include limited collection coverage, irregular pick-up schedules, and inefficient disposal methods. A significant portion of waste remains uncollected, leading to unsightly and unsanitary dumpsites in urban areas.
The lack of proper waste segregation and recycling facilities exacerbates the problem. Resulting in large amounts of recyclable materials ending up in landfills. Furthermore, informal waste-pickers often engage in hazardous practices. Such as burning waste, to salvage materials, releasing harmful pollutants into the air.
The consequences of these shortcomings are grave, ranging from water and soil contamination to the proliferation of diseases. Additionally, the unchecked dumping of plastic waste has a detrimental impact on Myanmar’s unique and diverse ecosystems.
Addressing the waste management crisis requires concerted efforts from the government, private sector, and communities. Implementing comprehensive waste management policies, promoting recycling initiatives, and investing in modern infrastructure are crucial steps. To mitigate the environmental and health hazards caused by the current weak waste management system in Myanmar.
Plastic offset program (POP) in Singaung
Our POP Myanmar Team aims to reduce plastic in Myanmar, and in Rakhine State, Thandwe City. Myanmar’s first POP chapter started in Ngapali in September, 2022. The second chapter started in Singaung beach near Thandwe town as a sub-chapter in February 2023. In order to reduce plastic waste along the beach and beautify the beach, POP collectors have been collecting trash every week for almost 6 months now.
We also collected plastic waste and fabric waste along the beach in Singaung chapter, and we have collected a total of 50 tons of plastic and fabric in the past 6 months.
Along the beach, there are many restaurants, fish shops, and residential houses. For years people living and working here have simply thrown plastic waste into the sea – causing it to pile up along the beach.
POP’s amazing collectors and leaders are working to change this and protect Myanmar’s precious coastline.