The “Today I Will Not Use Plastic bags” campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Environment, has now been extended to over 1,000 schools throughout Cambodia, reaching over one million students, said minister Eang Sophalleth.

He touted the success of the campaign during a meeting with representatives of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on September 26.

“Our goal is to reach the whole country. The next step will be to expand the campaign to private companies as well as large factories and manufacturing enterprises,” he said.

GGGI representative Shomi Kim congratulated the minister on the success of the school campaign, saying the GGGI intends to support the campaign by producing bio-plastics and strengthening cooperation with the ministry.

Sophalleth launched the campaign on September 1, initially in 44 schools with a total of more than 18,000 students across Tbong Khmum province’s O’Reang-ou district, in a bid to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainable development.

Hem Sophem, founder of the Nisset Plastic – a group of university students who conduct regular garbage cleanups – supported the campaign, saying it helps raise awareness among students and teachers about the impact of plastic on the environment.

“The plastic problem is one that we all face, thus, when more and more people begin to worry about it and reduce or stop the use of plastic, it will reduce waste and clean up the environment,” he said.