More than 300 naval personnel picked up more than 1 million pieces of garbage from three chronically filthy Sattahip beaches.
Sailors from the Royal Thai Fleet, Air and Coastal Defense Command and Recruit Training Center spread out over five kilometers of Najomtien beachfront in an emergency cleanup prompted by bitter complaints from residents and Sattahip government officials.
A local points out what a mess Sattahip beaches have become. It has gotten so bad, the Thai Navy had to be called in to send recruits to clean up the garbage.
Dongtan, Navy and Thien Talay beaches – which all fall under the jurisdiction of the Royal Thai Navy – have become a dumping ground for plastic bags, foam food boxes and rubbish tossed aside by Thai tourists, dumped overboard by fishermen and swept down from Bangkok’s putrid canals on the tide.
Sattahip Mayor Narong Bunbancherdsri said the litter has destroyed what used to be a beautiful beachfront and that the volume of garbage has grown so large, the government alone doesn’t have the resources to remove it.
Capt. Noppadol Supakorn, commander of the Naval Recruit Training Center, organized the cleaning expedition Sept. 5, saying that while the center isn’t legally responsible for the beach’s condition, he could “no longer stand by and watch the destructive effect on the beach by garbage.”
He has ordered local troops to clean the beach regularly and advised local and naval officials to take concrete steps to crack down on litterbugs.