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Small Changes can make a Huge Difference - WA Cup

9 Jun

Originally from the UK Clare from WA Cups moved to Koh Samui in August 2016. She lived there for a year whilst teaching English and Music at Oonrak International School.

“I regularly visited Koh Phangan whilst living on Samui. I then moved to Phan Thiet, a coastal city in Vietnam. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Asia but started to notice how polluted the oceans were becoming”.

What was the idea behind WA Cup?
I was always buying bottled water everyday (as you can't drink out of the taps like back home) and I wasn't sure where to recycle all of my plastic bottles I was using. I then realised there were many clean water sources on the island so there was no need to buy bottled water. I wanted to raise awareness of these sources so I created WA CUP (pronounced wake up), a reusable bottle.

You work with education, can you tell us what you do....
I send educational resources about the harms of single-use plastic. I have sent these to schools in China, Thailand (3 schools in Samui), Vietnam, The Philippines and Spain with the aim to reach as many schools as possible.

The resources are sent with reusable items (WA CUP bottles and bags) that are essentially the tools to empower children to make small changes to their lifestyle. We also give tips and ideas to help students reduce their waste.

Why do you think education is important?
I think education is very important as people need to be aware of what is happening to the planet and then positive change can happen.

And how is this then implemented?
I send educational PowerPoints to schools that includes videos of the crisis.

Do you offer the bottles for free for schools?
I send a small number of bottles to schools that are interested, completely free of charge. If the schools are interested in buying more we can sell the bottles at cost price. It is a non-profit organisation so we sell the bottles in the UK and spend the proceeds on sending more bottles out to schools.

What progress have you seen made?
We have had a fantastic response in the schools in Asia. A number of them have set-up eco projects to locate and raise awareness of the clean water sources. Oonrak School in Koh Samui have decided to start the process in becoming single-use plastic free.

What makes you unique compared to organisations such as Trash Hero and Eco Thailand?
I am now based in the UK so focus on raising awareness in schools here whilst targeting schools around the world as this is a global issue.

I am in association with Eco Thailand and encourage students to participate in the Trash Hero beach clean-ups.

What are your hopes for the future with the project?
I hope for WA CUP to be a global movement that encourages as many people around the world to be aware of the harms of single-use plastic and to stop using them. Fortunately with the help of shows such as Blue Planet II, the UK is now far more aware and it is affecting the legislation of single-use plastic. I hope for more schools to be involved and become single-use plastic free.

How can people get involved?
You can get involved by purchasing a WA CUP reusable item to reduce your own single-use plastic use whilst raising awareness for this cause or by simply sharing our social media pages with others.

If you are a hostel or bar you can promote these reusable items and become single-use plastic free. These can be sold at your shops, hostel so there is a place for people to buy them. Please get in touch at

Leave us with the WA Cup philosophy...
The WA CUP philosophy is that small changes can make a huge difference.



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