The Environment Ministry is preparing a sub-decree to ban the import and production of single-use plastic products to reduce plastic pollution in the Kingdom.
Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra yesterday said the products include plastic straws, spoons and cups, which are replaceable by more environment friendly versions.
He said the ministry wants the public to use glass or straws made out of bamboo, paper or metal because those materials are environmentally friendly.
“The ministry has agreed to draft a sub-decree to prohibit the importation and production of single-use plastic products,” Mr Pheaktra said. “We are participating in the protection of the environment and we are aiming to reduce plastic consumption.”
“These measures will help protect the environment…plastic waste is a common global concern,” he added.
Chantha Rothey, a member of pro-environment group Trash Youth, said she supports the ministry’s plan to ban single-use plastic products.
Ms Rothey said doing so would help reduce plastic consumption and help communities producing straws using non-plastic materials to have better living conditions.
“Once the sub-decree is complete, factories can stop producing single-use plastic products, and people will also turn to use products made out of natural plants,” she said. “Doing so would help the economic conditions of families in communities that produce straws and bags made out of paper and trees.”
“It would reduce waste because plastic waste is not easy to decompose,” Ms Rothey added.
Va Vathana, a vendor in Phnom Penh’s Kandal market, yesterday said she supports the ministry’s plan to ban the import of single-use plastic products because it would help reduce plastic consumption that impacts the environment and human health.
“Plastic waste is not easy to decompose, and if they are buried beneath the soil, chemicals will affect fertility,” Ms Vathana said. “If we burn them, plastic particles will seep into the atmosphere and affect the health of humans and animals.”
“If the ministry prevents the import and production of single-use plastics and our people participate, we will be protecting the environment,” she added.
Mr Pheaktra said the global volume of plastic recently reached 8.3 billion tonnes. He said in major cities in Cambodia, four million tonnes of waste are produced every year.
Cambodians in urban areas use more than 2,000 plastic bags every year, Mr Pheaktra said.