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Eco-tourism Powered by Circular Economy Driven Led by Youth: Taoyaa Platform

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

What would come to your mind if I say the word Phuket?

White sand beaches? the relaxing resort, and delicious Thai food?

Yes, all of those pleasant and inviting images!

Like most places on our planet, Phuket faces a plastics pollution problem!

What fascinated me is that high school students are taking a lead in trying to solve this problem. Recently, in partnership with the Thailand National Innovation Agency (NIA)'s STEAM for Innovator program, we have the privilege of training and mentoring a team of 17 years old school girls from Kajonkietsuksa school, a private bilingual school in Phuket.

This group of 3 seventeen years old highschool girls (team named Bajaangs: Chutiman Jarernpaisantaworn(Queen), Kittiwara Saruno(Fah), and Ratifah Rangsinthurat(Mink)) created and piloted a platform, called Taoyaa, connecting waste generators, collectors, recyclers, and product producers. It is also an E-store that sells eco-friendly products to users.

‘Tao’ is a Thai slang word to call something cute and ‘Yaa’ is from the word kaya which means trash in Thai. Bajaang is a local Phuket delicious rice dumpling wrapped with bamboo leaves.

The choice of names by these Thai youth aims to communicate trash is not disgusting but valuable.

Having conducted site visits to waste collection and dumping sites, witnessed problems firsthand, and interviewed waste collectors and recyclers, the Bajaangs team identified problems in waste management in the local communities. missing information on where, when, and what waste can be collected. The team created a Line App platform, called Taoyaa to connect the consumer, waste collector, and recyclers. Taoyaa is a simple version of a Grab app allowing consumers to find available waste collectors at their convenient time, waste collectors can find recyclers to sell their waste at a competitive price. The platform aims to improve waste collection and recycling rate, at the same time improve the income of waste collectors (Salengs).

Mink's family produces and sells Thailand traditional food. It aims at zero waste by composting food waste and offering plastic packaging waste to recyclers.

Fah would like to become an entrepreneur and Queen wants to become a medical doctor and currently wants to focus on solving plastic pollution, a health problem for the environment, believing ‘health is wealth’!

The Bajaang team has been actively engaging stakeholders (including the governor, local & international government agencies, private sectors, and communities) to promote its platform to create awareness of plastic pollution, enabling action and support towards zero waste in Phuket.

Follow Bajaangs team at Facebook : taoyaa_bajaangs & Instagram : taoyaa_bajaangs


The highlight of Taoyaa can be viewed in a video on our channel.

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