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INTRODUCTION The Chao Phraya River is the main river of Thailand which is made up of 4 tributaries; Ping, Wang, Yom

and Nan. They all merge, forming the Chao Phraya, which flows from the mountains in Chiang Mai through the plains and out through the gulf of Thailand. The Chao Phraya River supports Thai people from north through south, east to west. The river is mostly used for agriculture, fishing, transportation, and irrigation. But, the river may be used for other purposes, too. During the ancient period before the cities were built along the river, the water was so clean that it could be drunk from. Right now, the current river is filled with pollution whether it is oil, dead fish, garbage, nitrates and dissolved solids. During the barge trip, we did the WQI test and found that our score for the rivers quality was only 41 out of 100. Though the quality is pretty bad, we can change it by making an action. The Chao Phraya Rivers health can be improved by placing more bright colored trashcans along the river so that people can throw their plastic bags away responsibly. The trashcans can be cleaned every 3 days, at most. INDICATORS OF THE PROBLEM A few weeks ago, year 7s went on the barge trip to see and learn about the river. From the findings, lots of indicators showed that the Chao Phraya wasnt very healthy. Most people saw that there were a lot of plastic bags floating around resulting in bad effect on the river and environment. Quality indicators of my problem Plastic bags floating around Healthy fish and birds Dead fish Dissolved oxygen (WQI test) Current level Lots Few Lots Under average Predicted positive trend if innovation is implemented Fewer More Fewer Optimum ppm

SYSTEMS

EFFECTS OF PLASTIC BAGS The effect of irresponsible people throwing plastic bags in the river surely causes changes to the river system, as seen from the system map. As the plastic bags are being crashed by boats, the smaller pieces of plastic bags are eaten by fish and other creatures in the river. This leads to decreased numbers of fish and other sea creatures, which has negative impact on other animals and fishermen. The animals will be impacted because fish is food to many creatures. If the fish number decreases, other animals population will decrease too. Therefore, there is less healthy and clean fish for fishermen to catch. Due to the fact that most people see plastic bags and dead fish floating around, they think it is too late to make an action. They think that the rivers health cannot be improved because of its dirtiness has already gone beyond limit. PERSPECTIVES ON PLASTIC BAGS FLOATING IN THE RIVER Different people have different opinions on the plastic bags being thrown into the Chao Phraya River. Businesspeople Business people prefer the plastic bags since it is easy to carry and can carry a lot of things. Moreover, it is very light weighted. They dont really care about people throwing plastic bags into the Chao Phraya River since they are wealthy so they can easily pay for clean and purified water. They also dont know people living along the river feelings. Finally, they do not exactly know how dirty it actually looks, since they travel to their workplace by cars everyday. Street food vendors may think it is okay to throw plastic bags into the nearest place, (Chao Phraya River). Most street vendors are not educated well enough to know that plastic bags are nonbiodegradables and can only break into little pieces. Consumers are influenced by plastic bags in their daily lives. For example, if there were no plastic bags, no one would want to carry heaps of things. Plastic bags are used due to the fact that it is cheap and easy to find. Fish certainly dont like the plastic bags. The plastic bags are mistakenly eaten because they do not know what it is. Since plastic bags are not biodegradable, they cannot be digested in the fishs stomach. The plastic bags can clog up windpipes causing more and more nags flow into the oceans resulting in more creatures to die. Tourists may feel that it is not right to throw plastic bags into the river. They would also feel that Thailand is not hygienic and is undisciplined. This will impact in fewer tourists numbers in the

Street food vendors

Fish

Tourists

future. The tourists feel disgusted seeing people throwing plastic bags into the river knowing that the bags will not be biodegraded. Plants The plants do not like the way the plastic bags are being thrown into the river. Most of the living organisms die because of plastic bags and eutrophication.

WHY THIS IS THE IDEAL POINT TO MAKE A CHANGE Main reasons of why people throw plastic bags into the river are as follows: - There are a small number of trash cans placed along the river - There are no strict rules and punishment on throwing things into the river - Bins are so dirty and smelly that no one wants to touch or get to be near them - People who use plastic bags have no choices of where to throw away. The river is the only choice - Lack of people being educated in disciplinary and care for the community and environment The main part to changing the system is throwing plastic bags into the river. This is an ideal point to make a change because we cant really change the amount of plastic bags being used due to excessive numbers of markets. Nevertheless, we can change peoples behavior by not throwing plastic bags into the river. Right now, most people dont have choices of where to put their garbage so their only choice is to throw it into the river. There are a lot of possible innovations for this problem. INNOVATION The innovation is effective for the following reasons: WELL BEING Plastic bags are made of various chemicals, which are mostly toxic, making it very harmful to health and environment. The chemicals used to make plastic bags are xylene, ethylene oxide and benzene. These toxic chemicals are making people have diseases, sick and fatal. They dont only provide negative effects on the health of people and animals but also to the air. These chemicals can pollute the air, which again harms the living organisms. The chemicals dont only affect humans and animals, but also plants, water and air. When the chemicals get into the air, humans can breathe them in, which cause problems in the respiratory system. When they are thrown onto the river, animals and birds may think its food; the animals eat it and die. The entire marine life is also harmed because if one thing changes, the whole system changes. If more trashcans are placed along the river, people would throw plastic bags away more responsibly. This has a positive effect on the environment since it will make

the river cleaner and the number of fish, birds and other creatures will increase. People living along the river would feel happy about the health and more and more people will start caring for it. SOCITEY Plastic bags are a great way to carry things around- food, clothes and any other things. Since they are used for every purpose, there will be lots of amount that are being thrown away. Some are thrown away responsibly, but some are just being thrown into places that could affect the environment in a negative way. Tourists who see bags floating around wont really like it, and they might not come to Thailand effecting in less tourism income. Clean and bright colored trashcans are a great way to have people throw their trash in the trashcan. However, trashcans cannot be too attractive or else more people will create trash to throw in. The innovation of putting more trashcans along the river will make both poor and rich people throw things away responsibly. People can also throw other wastes in (bottles, cans and containers). A lot more tourists will come to Thailand since the river and streets are cleaner. People who come visit Thailand will share great things to others, causing to have more tourists, which is great! NATURE Plastic bags are a non-biodegradable substance, which means that it will not break down and disappear. It will only break up into small pieces and turn to dust. The plastic dust blows around and it is very bad for small children. Since its lightweight, flexible, breaks apart, floats, it blocks up windpipes and destroys the natural ecosystem. After the plastic bags break apart, the fish eat them and die. When the fish die, the bacteria come and decompose it and while decomposing, they need O2 to breathe and live. More and more fish die, so the bacteria come to decompose the dead things. Whilst decomposing, the bacteria are using up a lot of oxygen. Therefore, the river ends up having very little oxygen causing more fish and plants do die. This is called eutrophication. The bags may also travel to the Sea or Ocean causing more fishes to die. According to the plastic statistics website, about 100,000 marine creatures die because of plastic bags. As the number of fish decreases, the food chain is affected. Other animals die, while the producer increase, which isnt such a good thing. If the fish die more and more every year, the number of other animals will surely decrease; tigers, sharks, whales, dolphins and birds. If the innovation has been taken into action, the number of animals will increase. As the fish increases, it will make other animals have more food to eat. Since less fish die and there are fewer bacteria and more oxygen for the fish and plants. Placing more trashcans will decrease the amount of dead fish and the amount of plastic bags floating into the sea and on the river. Eutrophication will also decrease, which is a sign that the Chao Phraya River is healthier.

ECONOMY Plastic bags are very cheap and easy to find, thats why they are used everywhere. Since it costs very little, more markets and street vendors buy it. The cost for one is only about 0.05 to 0.1, which is 4 THB or less. The plastic bags provide business for the food sellers due to its convenience. Without these, the income might drop since not all people will want to sit and eat. Placing more trashcans along the river is a great innovation overall. Not only it costs less to start but also east to be implemented. Only a little amount of money is needed to buy the trashcans and bright colored paints. The NIST community can easily raise money and buy plain trashcans. Having more trashcans provides jobs for locals, fishermen and trashcan cleaners. Whilst creating more jobs, one job is lost, which is people who clean the trash in the river. CONCLUSION The current problem in Thailand is that people using excessive amounts of plastic bags and throwing it away without thinking. Even though most people are not well educated, they can still see that the river is dirty and full of trash. In spite of knowing that it can be improved, they are not trying to help. All the creatures and plants are being affected quite negatively with these problems, dead fish are floating around, the water turns murkier everyday, and it is just getting worse. The people who are affected by plastic bags are mostly fish, plants, business people and food vendors. The fish are getting affected very badly because of the plastic bags. They are dying from the ingestion of plastic bags, which are mistakenly eaten, and other animals are dying too since fish are a main food to other creatures. The business people are buying things and using the plastic bags. As they walk along the river, they throw it away into the nearest place, which is the Chao Phraya. It may also flow through to the ocean. The vendors are quite happy with using the plastic bags since they are cheap and provide business. But we can change how people throw their trash away. My innovation impacts well being in a positive way; making Thailand a brighter place to live in, making people healthier and making people feel good about the river. This also affects the economy in a good way, locals will have more jobs and the innovation does not cost a lot to run and start. It impacts the nature point in a good way, since it will decrease eutrophication and more animals will be healthy, more plants will grow and the river will be a lot cleaner. If the river looks cleaner, there will be more tourists, increasing the income of Thailand. My innovation will make Thailand a better and brighter place to live in.

Works Cited Asaff, Beth. "Plastic Bags in the Ocean." LoveToKnow. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Plastic_Bags_in_the_Ocean>. "Plastic Bags." Personal interview. 27 Mar. 2014.

"Plastic Problems : How Do Plastic Bags Affect Our Environment?" Before It's News. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/03/plastic-problemshow-do-plastic-bags-affect-our-environment-2583446.html>. "Plastic Statistics." Ocean Crusaders. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. <http://oceancrusaders.org/crusades/plastic-crusades/plastic-statistics/>.