Have you ever visited a national park and seen it strewn with littler? Unfortunately, this problem affects parks across the globe and not just in the United States. Visitors do not seem to understand that these parks are protected because they are natural treasures and must be respected. For years, national parks have been able to do little to litterbugs except post warning signs and slap offenders with a fine if they are caught.
Now, Khao Yai National Park in Thailand has come up with a solution to make people stop littering in their park once and for all. They are prepared to mail trash to the homes of those who tossed it. The solution came courtesy of Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who is gung-ho about the initiative.
In a social media post, the official shared an image of plastic bottles, empty chip bags, and other wrappers that have been collected across the park. He also included a note (written in Thai) that declares how the trash will be mailed back to the very person who dumped in the national park. The note said, in part, “You forgot these things.”
While litterbugs can expect to receive trash in the mail if they dumped it at Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, they can also get locked away for up to five years if they are caught.
In an effort to put an end to littering, visitors to the park must register when entering. The registration will include their home address, making it easy for the park officials to send trash through the post. Litterbugs will also be reported to the police.
“Your trash – we will return it to you,” Varawut threatened.
Park rangers and employees will be able to tell who dumped trash by targeting campsites. Because campsites are an easy way to track who was at the site, Varawut and his crew can tell who did not use the provided trash cans.
The park is home to elephants, monkeys, and deer, as well as other majestic creatures. There has been so much litter recently that it is threatening the wellbeing of the animals.
After the social media post went viral, Varawut spoke to the media. He clarified that the national park provides more than enough bins for trash. There is no excuse for someone to dump trash in the park.
“The authorities had facilitated visitors with everything we could have thought of. They only had to come here and enjoy beautiful nature, but we never thought that they would leave us with such waste,” he is quoted as saying by Pattaya News. “We kindly ask every tourist to put garbage in the provided areas because the garbage that you left may kill wild animals that come down around the area looking for food. In this case, we purposefully collected all your rubbish in a box and sent them to your home as a souvenir and a lesson to not litter anywhere ever again.”
What do you think about a national park mailing garbage back to litterbugs?
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