App steps up fight against plastic waste
Tamsang-Tamsong, a community-based food delivery platform, is expanding to Phuket with the aim of reducing single-use plastic waste.
Akkanut Wantanasombut, founder of Tamsang-Tamsong and a researcher at the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University, said the food delivery platform in Phuket was a pilot project which started in December last year. The project aims to encourage stakeholders such as restaurants, online food delivery platforms, delivery workers and consumers to reduce the use of plastics and prevent them from entering the sea.
The project has focused on replacing single-use plastic with a food carrier, known as a pinto.
The basic concept is to support the use of a pinto, with restaurants taking part in the scheme offering first-time customers a free pinto containing food and sent via riders. Customers can return the pinto to the rider and receive a new pinto with food with the next order.
Mr Akkanut said Tamsang-Tamsong has been developed by the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University with the aim of providing job opportunities and boosting the community economy for restaurants and riders via a digital platform. The platform can also be owned and managed by communities.
The project also promotes cooperation between partners to contribute to a sustainable reduction of plastic and marine litter, particularly a project entitled "Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter", which has been funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Mr Akkanut said users of the app will be boosted by promotions and the provision of more types of alternative eco-friendly containers, apart from the pinto, in the future.
It will also engage with local government agencies to create a roadmap to reduce plastic in Phuket, to ensure sustainable adoption and implementation.
"The application can help the community economically, and small operators can have their own platform," Mr Akkanut said.