Furthermore, 60% of it comes from Asia. 

Across the ASEAN region, we can see waste and plastic polluting beaches, the ocean, and delicate ecosystems like coral reefs, as well as harming marine animals who frequently mistake it for food.

Plastic also takes hundreds of years to degrade, breaking down into tiny particles that mix into seawater and are difficult to filter out. These so-called microplastics affect life all along the food chain, and eventually wind up inside of the humans who consume them as seafood.



EPPIC is embarking on a 4-year journey to identify and scale up the most promising new solutions in the ASEAN region to address this growing problem, with a particular focus on the top offenders: Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia.

During Phase 3 of EPPIC (2023-2024), the challenge is targeting two high-traffic sites to tackle plastic waste where small changes can make a big difference: Kaysone Phomvihane City in Lao PDR and Sihanoukville in Cambodia


Sihanoukville province - Cambodia

Sihanoukville province

About the location:

  • The population of approximately 83,000 people
  • The largest coastal city in Cambodia and has experienced rapid growth driven by investments in real estate, ports, special economic zones, and tourism
  • Prior Covid-19 pandemic, tourist arrivals in the first semester of 2019 accounted for about 1.2 million people, including both domestic and international travelers. The tourism sector has witnessed substantial growth, leading to the development of new hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities. Manufacturing, particularly in the Special Economic Zones, has also contributed to job creation and economic prosperity.

About Plastic Waste in Sihanoukville province:

  • 366 metric tons of waste are generated daily, with 63% from non-household sources such as hotels, markets, restaurants, offices, shopping malls, and other economic activities. Most of this waste is disposed of at landfill.
  • Plastic also constitutes a significant portion of the waste stream with around 40,236 metric tons generated annually, of which only about 3,446 is estimated to be recovered through the informal sector.
  • Plastic bags and plastic bottles account for most of the plastic waste generated at a household level, respectively 60% and 19% of plastic waste generated.

Current waste management practices involve waste collection and transportation by a private company, with some challenges such as illegal dumping, limited access to certain areas, and waste management fees collection.

Download the baseline study for Sihanoukville province here

Kaysone Phomvihane City

About the location:

Located in the central part of Lao PDR, Kaysone Phomvihane City is the Capital city of Savannakhet Province. With a population of 125,760 (2018), it is the second-largest city in Lao PDR.

On the west side, the Mekong River borders the city with Thailand, Mukdahan city, connected by the 2nd Friendship bridge.

Kaysone Phomvihane City is a tourist destination with many well-known stupas and temples, and old town with French Colonial architecture and a rich culture of silk-cotton weaving.



About Plastic Waste in Kaysone Phomvihane City:

  • About 80 to 120 Ton of waste are collected daily. 24% of waste collected are plastics.
  • Obstruction of canals and streams increased the risk of flooding in urban areas.
  • Microplastic were found in 49% of the sediment, 24% of the fish and 27% of the surface waste sample. (That Luang Lake)
  • Solid waste generation doubled from 2000 to 2020, to reach almost 50,000 tons per year. Only half of this waste went to the landfill.
  • Only 30% of households have a contract with a service provider. Within the city, only 31 villages out of 67 have waste municipality collection service available.
Download the baseline study for Kaysone Phomvihane City here

Kaysone Phomvihane City - Lao PDR

Mandalika, Lombok Island

Mandalika, Lombok Island

Mandalika is located on the southern coast of Lombok Island, famous for a 7.2 km white beach. Mandalika is among the “10 New Bali Initiative” locations selected by the government aiming for boosting tourism development in particular locations in Indonesia.


About the location

  • Mandalika comprises 4 villages of 6,412 km2 as the Main Area, and 2 villages of 1,968 km2 as the Buffer Area, with total population of 46,432 (2020).
  • Tourist number reached 618,120 persons in 2019. This number is projected to quadruple by 2025.
  • In addition to the tourism industry, main activities include salt farming, aquaculture, mangrove forest development, among others.


Waste and plastic waste generation in Mandalika

  • Total waste generation in Mandalika is estimated to be around 215.7 tonnes / year in 2020, when there was a sharp decline in tourist number due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The average plastic waste generation in Mandalika area is 107.8 tonnes / year in 2020 (during the pandemic). Pre-pandemic data are not available.


Marine Plastic Litter

  • Total plastic waste generation at 5 beaches in Mandalika Special Economic Zone is 36 tonnes/year (during COVID-19 pandemic).
  • The 2 main types of plastics found were PETE / PET (4%) and PP (70%). PE, as nylon from fishing line/net, is less than 1%.
  • PP (70% of plastic waste) is mainly in the form of food containers, yoghurt drinking bottles, baby bottles.
  • PETE / PET (4%) is in the form of drinking bottles of mineral water, glasses of mineral water and others.


Estimated Sources of Marine Plastic Litter

  • Tourism Activity and Infrastructure Development
  • Insufficient land-based waste management

Samal Island

The Island Garden City of Samal is a coastal city of Davao del Norte province, situated at the heart of Davao Gulf in the southern part of the Philippines.

Key Facts:

  • Samal City has a total land area of 30,130 hectares. It includes two main islands, Samal Island and Talicud Island, and other smaller islands, Malipano, Big Ligid and Little Ligid. The island has three major rivers and lakes, namely; Benoling River, Tagbaobo River and Bagsak Lake.
  • Samal City’s total population was 104,123 people and 26,245 households in 2015[1] and increased to 110,000 people in 2020.
  • A promising city endowed with natural resources, its economy is dependent on agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
  • Visitors in Samal grew from 520,000 tourists in 2013 to 1.8 million in 2019.
  • As part of Davao Gulf which is a known marine key biodiversity area, Samal Island is home to diverse marine flora and fauna, some of which are endangered including whale sharks and Dugong.

Plastic waste in Samal City

  • Total waste generation in 2013 was 43,599.74 kg/day and estimated to have increased to 48,241.93 kg/day in 2019[2]
  • Out of all types of waste generated:52% is biodegradable/food waste, 21% is recyclable and 27.6% is residual waste, bulk of which is made of plastic

Sources of plastic pollution:

  • Household consumption
  • Tourism and food establishments
  • Waste generated from neighboring municipalities that ends up in Samal coast.

[1] Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority

[2] Based on Total Waste Generation Projections, ICAGOS Ecological Solid Waste Management Plan 2013-2023

Samal Island

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quang Ninh Province in the north of Viet Nam.

Key facts:

  • Three districts border Ha Long Bay with a total population of 477,000
  • The area welcomed 14 million tourists in 2019, with a turnover of USD$1.25 billion
  • Huge fish-farming industry with 20,600 ha of farming ponds and 9,600 cages
  • 40 inhabited islands, many with a very limited waste management system
  • Most solid waste is burned or sent to landfills

Plastic waste in Ha Long Bay (estimations):

  • 28,283 tons of plastic waste generated annually
  • Around 5,272 tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year
  • 34 tons of waste generated daily by tourist activities
  • 7 tons of waste collected daily by dedicated vessels during the tourist season
  •  Most common plastic waste items: Styrofoam boxes, lunch boxes, plastic bags, porous buoys, and fishing nets

Major sources of pollution:

  • Tourism
  • Fishing
  • Small island municipalities
  • Land-based generation of waste
Download the baseline studies for Ha Long Bay and Koh Samui here

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is the largest island in an archipelago located off the north-eastern coast of Surat Thani Province in Thailand.

Key facts:

  • Area of 227 km2 with a population of 1,950,768
  • Very famous tourist destination with more than 2.5 million visitors in 2017
  • Limited waste management system reliant on shipping to the mainland
  • Awareness is low, and illegal dumping is a common practice
  • Small fisheries operate along the coastline for selling to the local market

Plastic waste on Koh Samui (estimations):

  • 10,800 tons of plastic waste generated annually
  • 51% of total marine litter in Thai waters is plastic waste
  • 1,700 restaurants, generating 132 kg/store/week
  • Most common plastic waste items: bags, bottles, straws, and mixing sticks

Major sources of pollution:

  • Tourism
  • Land-based generation of plastic waste

Marine litter

Download the baseline studies for Ha Long Bay and Koh Samui here

Koh Samui

EPPIC is looking for innovative solutions that combat plastic pollution, offer sustainable alternatives, enhance plastic value chains, foster recycling, minimise pollution from tourism, and support plastic monitoring while collaborating with local communities
to contribute to the green transition of Kaysone City in Lao PDR and Sihanoukville in Cambodia.