The Ministry of Environment has asked the Ministry of Education to integrate more environmental awareness subjects into school curriculums, especially in regards to plastic pollution as it poses a serious threat to the planet.
During an Environment Day celebration in Phnom Penh yesterday, Sou Savuth, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said that many parts of the world are currently facing environmental challenges such as deforestation, lack of clean water, lack of food security and diseases.
Mr Sovuth warned that one of the most detrimental wastes on the planet is plastic. “Plastic pollution will affect animal life,” he said. “Especially now it has become a serious threat to our planet.”
Ngin Lina, director-general of Environmental Knowledge and Information Department with the Environment Ministry, said yesterday that the government is tackling the plastic waste issue.
Ms Lina said that the ministry has asked the Education Ministry to integrate more environmental subjects into school curriculums, noting that the project would need further collaboration with colleagues at the Education Ministry.
“We have made changes to a certain degree, but the Ministry of Environment needs more cooperation from other ministries,” she said.
Soeur Socheata, an undersecretary of state at the Education Ministry, said that pollution and the impact of plastic are to be included in the 8th to 10th Grade curriculum.
Ms Socheata said that the ministry also promotes cleaning the environment and good hygiene practise at all grade levels.
“Not only plastic bags, but the preparation and management of the environment is something we are also thinking about,” she said.
Sey Peou, a climate change project coordinator with the NGO Forum on Cambodia, said yesterday that education could change the way people think about plastic.
According to an Environment Ministry report, the city of Phnom Penh uses about 10 million plastic bags per day.
An average urban Cambodian uses more than 2,000 plastic bags every year, ten times more than the average consumption in the European Union and China.
Senior Environment Ministry officials have urged owners of big businesses to help cut the use of plastic bags to reduce damage on the environment and people’s health.
On April 10, Sorya Centre Point, Aeon and Lucky supermarkets announced a $0.10 charge for each plastic bag.