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Youth turning trash into fashion

Youth turning trash into fashion

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Project promotes recycling as key to a cleaner, brighter future

MOM KUNTHEAR

Young people recycle goods at a Khmer Youth and Social Development event in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.

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ITH the Khmer Youth and Social Development  recycling project in full swing, Cambodia's young people are leading the way when it comes to recycling.

The program involves collecting recyclables and transforming them into items like jewelry and tote bags that can be sold at various events, such as the one held Tuesday at a Phnom Penh supermarket.

Chhoun Borith, executive director of the project, said that young people play a crucial role at the organisation because "they give up their valuable time to help collect garbage from along the roads of Phnom Penh in order to recycle it".

"Even though what they are doing is great, we need encouragement from the government and corporations to help us take care of our environment," Chhoun Borith said.

Meach Meanun, a 23-year-old university student, said that while recycling items found along roads is a good idea, many people were not willing to collect them because they don't realise their hidden value. 

"Some Cambodian people still don't care about recycling. They use things one time and then throw them away," said Meach Meanun.

Khmer Youth and Social Development (KYSD) adviser Lorna Easter said that it is important for Cambodians to recycle because tonnes of plastic and other materials were simply going into landfills. "Plastic does not biodegrade and so its going to be around for a very long time. We want to make people aware of this fact."

KYSD is going to develop the recycling programme for Cambodian Environment Week in September. "We aim to put on a fashion show, where the clothing is made out of only recycled goods like plastic, cardboard, paper and other materials," Easter said. 

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