Celia Grimsgaard, a member of the Ogoori community, shares her experience at Koh Tao island in Thailand with us.
Photo by Andrea Borg, 2018, Koh Tao – Thailand. “Public beach”.
Imagine you’re in a lush landscape. It’s humid and warm. Suddenly you see a pathway that you think leads down to the ocean. You start to imagine that it’ll lead you to a beach, a private beach, just for you. You can’t wait to take a swim to cool off after a hike and just enjoy the scenery.
You’re almost there. You start to get overly excited. You can’t wait to feel the sand between your toes, suck up all the good energy and vibrations from mother earth. Maybe you’ll find seashells, or if you’re lucky, see corals and tropical fish.
At last, you've made it to the end of the path. You stop to listen and can’t hear anyone else. Yes, you might have found a private beach. You stretch your arms out and push away the last branch that’s blocking your view and take the final step into the sand.
But the view isn’t exactly what you’ve expected. Sadness, frustration and anger overwhelm you. You think to yourself, ‘How can this have happened!?’ This was supposed to be the perfect beach. Not a beach littered with trash. Everywhere you look, you see familiar remnants of water bottles, trash bags, jugs, and shampoo. There are smaller broken pieces mixed in the sand of who knows what.
Photo by Andrea Borg, 2018, Koh Tao – Thailand. “When you look a little further”.
This was my experience in Koh Tao, Thailand and it shocked me because one kilometre in each direction, the public beaches were pristine. And those clean-up efforts give me hope and motivation. There are initiatives and opportunities for change. That’s how I found Ogoori. Ogoori represents a community of beach cleaners, industries and customers, who jointly take responsibility where others have not yet succeeded.
The circular economy is a positive model looking beyond the take-make-waste extractive industrial model. In a society without waste, resources are meant to remain in circulation and shared. Materials are shared, repaired, reused and recycled exterminating the need to extract virgin materials.
One company alone cannot solve this, but together we can tackle plastic pollution on a local and global scale. Circular Norway (2021) states that the key role for the circular economy is that the authorities, businesses, trade unions and investors must contribute to setting requirements for public procurement in the form of material selection, reuse, design and minimum use of non-recycled resources.
“A more modern and circular economy will make us less dependent and boost your resilience” - Ursula von der Leyen, 2020.
So, what innovative changes are you willing to make to close the loop and drive the transition towards a circular economy?