KUALA LUMPUR - For the millions of sun seekers who head to Thailand's resort island of Phuket each year in search of stunning beaches and clear waters, cutting down on waste may not be a top priority.
But the island's hotel association is hoping to change that with a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the use of plastic, tackling the rubbish that washes up on its shores, and educating staff, local communities and tourists alike.
"Hotels unchecked are huge consumers and users of single-use plastics," said Mr Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association and managing director of the Trisara resort.
"Every resort in South-east Asia has a plastic problem. Until we all make a change, it's going to get worse and worse," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Established in 2016 and with about 70 members - including all Phuket's five-star hotels - the association has put tackling environmental issues high on its to-do list.
Last year (2017), the group surveyed members' plastics use and then began looking at ways to shrink their plastics footprint.
As part of this, three months ago the association's hotels committed to phase out, or put plans in place to stop using, plastic water bottles and plastic drinking straws by 2019.