EPPIC 2020 – Koh Samui Field Trip
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand organized a field trip for the finalists of Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) in Samui – one of the top touristic island destinations in Thailand. During 14 – 15 November 2020, a series of meetings and site visits were organized for three EPPIC finalist teams, who based in Thailand, to meet all key stakeholders which may contribute to the success of their project implementation in Samui. The trip was organized to show EPPIC finalists the whole process of waste journey on Samui Island, from generation to segregation and disposal.
Firstly, the teams visited local Bamboo Market, a popular touristic market, and a local fresh market located next to the canal. Having seen how wastes are generated at the source allowed them to fully understand the situation and accurately apply their solutions to solve the problem. As waste recycling is not processed on the island, the teams visited waste segregation facilities to learn how recyclable wastes were collected and segregated prior to their journey to recycling plants in and around Bangkok. In the end, the finalists visited a waste disposal facility, which was previously a municipal waste incineration plant. The in-depth discussion with the manager of the waste disposal facility provided the finalists with concrete insights about the severity and the scale of the waste problem in Samui.
To ensure local regulation compliance, a private discussion session with the Advisor to the Mayor of Samui municipality was organized on the last day of the field visit. The finalists, therefore, had an opportunity to gain insights from the local expert who has been working on waste reduction and recycling promotion for over half a decade. The Advisor also had an opportunity to learn more about the finalists’ solutions and provided some suggestions to better localize their products/ services.
Finally, a facilitated pause-and-reflect session was organized for the finalists to summarize their new learning points throughout the field trip while allowing the organizer to gain feedback from the participants about the contribution of the incubation program to their success in the future.
“The field trip allowed us to understand the local context of the Samui, and it is also a very good opportunity for us to connect with the other teams. In fact, all three teams can even work together to improve the waste management system in Samui. Our solutions complement each other anyway.”
– Team Green Island Foundation
“One of the main questions for us is how can we fit it, and how can we apply our solutions to solve the local problems. As Samui is in a strange time now, due to COVID-19, it can be a perfect opportunity for us to start cleaning up Samui so the community will be ready once the city is opened for tourists again.”
– Team TerraCycle
“With the new insights gained during the field trip, I feel more equipped to adjust my solution to better fit the local context.”
– Team CIRAC
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