HONG KONG — Officials in Thailand had an unorthodox approach to deal with visitors who left a tent filled with litter in a national park: mail the trash to the offenders.
The country’s environment minister said that he wanted to call attention to a garbage problem at Khao Yai National Park that endangers animals that could eat the litter while foraging for food. He vowed in a Facebook post last week to track down anyone responsible for littering in the park.
“I will pick up every single piece of your trash, pack them well in a box and mail it to your home as a souvenir,” the minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, said in the post. He also posted photos of a delivery box containing a transparent trash bag filled with used plastic water bottles, soda cans, torn packs of chips and sunflower seeds.
Thai officials said they had, indeed, mailed the box of trash to campers who had left the waste in a tent they abandoned. The special package came with a pointed message for the group, who have been placed on a blacklist barring them from returning to the park for overnight visits.
“You have forgotten some of your belongings at the Khao Yai National Park,” read a note to the campers, who have not been publicly identified, that was placed on the clear trash bag. “Please let us return these to you.”
The move by the Thai authorities comes amid growing global efforts to reduce the environmental impact of trash and curb the use of plastics. Activists are increasingly sounding the alarm as garbage