The Ministry of Environment has provided an assortment of uniquely shaped rubbish bins to more than 60 Phnom Penh schools to motivate students and staff to properly separate waste, and to promote environmental awareness and beautification of the capital.
The move is part of a broader rubbish bin-related initiative carried out by the NGO Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia-Phnom Penh Branch (UYFC-PP), the ministry said on December 25.
UYFC-PP secretariat deputy director Sorn Bun Mean said the bins were fashioned into shapes that would be instantly recognisable by locals such as "ka’am" clay pots or "angrut" basket-like fish traps.
Bun Mean said the designs were meant to promote Khmer identity and heritage for future generations, more widely raise awareness of waste sorting, and reduce the burden of dumpsites and landfills.
Ministry deputy director-general for environmental knowledge and information Khvay Atitya on December 24 warned that improper waste management could result in health issues as well as land, air, and water pollution and other ecological degradations, and threaten the sustainability of natural resources and economic development.
Atitya also called on the public to phase down the use of public bags.
“Plastic waste causes major environmental impacts, health problems for human beings and animals, and threatens biodiversity,” he said.