Ban Mod Ta Noi Community: Waste Management is Life-Saving Medicine

25 May 2020 415 views

Highlight

  • Clean community makes people in the community healthy and alive.
  • The illness ravaging the community is a primary driver that induced people of Ban Mod Ta Noi community, a small community in Trang’s Kantang district, to stand up for themselves and take action on waste management.
  • Standing up and fighting against the disease with waste management is the best medicine of all.

Ban on Foam Food Containers to Stop Cancer

3-4 years ago at Ban Mod Ta Noi community in Libong subdistrict, Kantang district in Trang province, many villagers here got cancer right around the same time.

“We found that many people in our communities were diagnosed with cancer about the same time.  We believe that those cancers were caused by the use of foam food packaging that contains carcinogens. At the time, all restaurants in the community used foam products as food containers.”

Mr. Somchok Sakulsongboonsiri, Director of Ban Mod Ta Noi Sub-district Health Promotion Hospital, held a meeting of village health volunteers (VHV) to provide education on the danger of the foam food packaging. The meeting aimed at passing on knowledge to villagers through volunteers in the hope of banning foam food containers in the community. The move was to encourage villagers to adopt natural packaging materials that are widely available, biodegradable, and cancer-free. This effort yielded a fruitful change as Ban Mod Ta Noi is now free of foam food containers, inspiring similar adoption in neighboring communities.

The active waste management on foam food containers has brought about good health and safety for people in Ban Mod Ta Noi community. Apart from those with cancer, the village has no further cases reported to have such hideous cancer.

To date, Ban Mod Ta Noi community has become free of foam food containers and also free of cancer at the same time.

Star Rewards for Good Deeds

The death of a baby dugong in Libong, Marium, which died from ingested single-use plastic in the body, made national news headlines. Subsequently, Ban Mod Ta Noi community initiated the scheme “Star Rewards For Good Deeds” intended to motivate children to say no to single-use plastic such as refusing plastic bags or straws. They will be rewarded a star point for each good deed in the star collection book. They can trade the star points for prizes.

“Aside from reducing plastic waste, the initiative also aims to instill good waste management and environmental awareness in children’s hearts. This initiative has been expanded throughout the community where everyone in the community takes part.”

It seems like waste management has become everyone’s responsibility.

Everyone’s Responsibility

Now, waste management is the responsibility of everyone in Ban Mod Ta Noi community. 

“Villagers turn food waste as chicken feed and organic fertilizers. Hazardous waste goes to a drop-off point at the headman’s house before being properly managed by the sub-district administrative organization. The sellable waste items like plastic bottles, glass bottles, are given to the elderly to help them generate extra income from waste recycling. The unsellable materials will be turned into decorations or utensils.”

Furthermore, people at Ban Mod Ta Noi community together set up a waste drop-off point by the beach to reduce waste discarded by tourists. This is to prevent potential harm to the environment and ocean.

From the day that cleanliness wasn’t a priority, now this community adopted waste management strategy as a medicine to save the lives of people. And Ban Mod Ta Noi community has continued to carry out the practice ever since.

 “Our duty is to manage waste effectively, and we will maintain such practices for the longest time possible.

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