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PATA Earth Week Challenge

PATA’s Green Team recently organised a week-long competition that challenged PATA staff to take action in the context of Earth Day 2018 which is celebrated on April 22 since 1970. We designed the PATA Earth Week Challenge to support Earth Day 2018’s campaign focusing on ending plastic pollution.

PATA staff teams confronted each other with their use of single-use plastic items with the goal of decreasing PATA’s plastic consumption and improving overall waste management. Each PATA staff could earn or lose points for their team depending on their use of reusable and/or single-use plastic items, as well as by engaging in special activities. The latter included taking quizzes, submitting green tips for the office and downloading the “My Little Plastic Footprint” app to learn about plastic pollution in a fun way. The Sustainability team provided a variety of tools and resources to help PATA staff reduce their plastic footprint at and outside of work while reminding everyone of the many simple and easy tips to go green, keep our earth safe, spend less, and make every day Earth Day.

PATA staff sharing good practices while scoring points for their teams

Starting from Day One of the challenge, immediate actions were taken. The PATA staff encouraged each other to switch to different types of reusable straws (e.g. bamboo, stainless steel), to replace single-use coffee-to-go cups with their own tumbler, to always carry a tote bag when leaving the office and to adopt other good practices. Everyone shared photos of their daily ‘green’ choices and/or reported cases of their own or other’s rule violation (e.g. using a single-use plastic straw or bag).

Choosing the better alternative: Bring your own tumbler; Use silverware instead of use single use chopsticks; Go for a paper straw instead of a disposable plastic one

Through self-reporting and online scoring sheets, teams had an overview of the choices they made on a daily basis. After a very successful week and great participation, we decided to extend the challenge for another week. On Stop Food Waste Day! we introduced another special activity challenging PATA staff to show their contribution to the initiative by being a food waste warrior here in Bangkok! If they took a photo of their clean plate after lunch that day, they earned extra points for their teams.

Photos taken for #CleanPlate activity on Stop Food Waste Day!

Throughout the competition, we encouraged PATA staff to observe their own plastic consumption, to look for and explore alternatives and to also learn about the environmental impact of plastics as well as the importance of tackling plastic pollution.

Eco-conscious choices: Choosing natural banana leaf wrapping over plastic; bringing reusable containers to buy fruits from street vendors and meat from the butcher; reusing a drinking cup to get bubble tea

The team with the most points won tickets for a fancy movie night. In addition, the Sustainability team selected one staff member who showed outstanding commitment to the challenge and rewarded her with the same prize. Everyone else received a regular movie voucher as a thank you for their commitment to making a difference and helping PATA to walk the talk.

Members of the winning team were leading by example from Day One

Over the course of two weeks, PATA staff saved more than 200 coffee/drinking cups and over 120 plastic bags from landfill. We closed the challenge by celebrating the winning team and acknowledging all teams’ eco-conscious decisions! We are committed to continue making green choices that help end plastic pollution.