Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth has announced that large garbage bins are to be provided to each school throughout Cambodia. The roll-out of two bins to each school is part of the environment ministry’s successful “Today I will not use plastic” campaign, which has gained traction across the Kingdom. 

He made the announcement during a December 5 meeting with local authorities, teachers, students and guardians in Tbong Khmum province’s O’Reang-ou district. During the meeting, gifts were presented to students who passed the grade 12 exam with an A grade.

“Thanks to the large number of students and teachers who have participated in the reduction of the use of plastic and committed to the ‘Today I will not use plastic’ campaign, the ministry will provide bins to all schools,” said Sophalleth, via the ministry’s social media.

He noted that people were continuing to implement the campaign nation-wide, using slogans like “Today I will not use plastic”, “We join forces to protect the Cambodian environment” and “Goodbye to plastic”.

“The fact that so many of us, especially teachers and students, are participating in this campaign on a regular basis, is an excellent sign that in the future, we may completely end the use of plastic bags. A clean Cambodia can only come from our combined efforts,” he added.

He said the first bins would be provided to schools in Tbong Khmum province’s O’Reang-ou district.

Hem Sinareth, director of the Phnom Penh municipal education department, said on December 6 that he had received this information.

“Schools in Phnom Penh have already have rubbish bins, but it will be good if the environment ministry provides more. This will help the schools remain garbage-free, and avoid excess plastic waste in open spaces. It will increase the students’ sense of responsibility by encouraging them to dispose of their trash appropriately, and will help them to work together to protect the environment,” he added.

The “Today I will not use plastic” campaign was launched on September 1. As of December 4, a total of 3,317,594 participants – including teachers and students from 7,140 schools – had taken part, as well as the employees of several large factories and enterprises.