The plastic reduction campaign, dubbed “Today I will not use plastic”, is being rolled out in the capital during the Water Festival, in a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, the Farmer Association for Livelihood Development (FALD) and environmentalists. 

The campaign will be focused along the riverside in Phnom Penh, where the Water Festival will last from November 26-28. The campaign targets festival revellers and boat crews, by adding another theme: We must unite to protect the environment in Cambodia.

An FALD announcement said the campaign will include the calling for the public to dispose of their waste properly in rubbish bins and to reduce their use of plastic

“The campaign is to promote the protection of the environment and motivate the public to love the environment through the slogan: Today I will not use plastic,” it added.

“Our nation, society, and the environment as a whole, can only be kept clean if we all dispose of our garbage correctly and stop using so much plastic. In the future, we believe that Cambodia will take a great step forward and become a nation with a pristine environment, like many developed countries around the world,” the notice continued.

Environmentalists attending the campaign launch believed the campaign would lead to behavioural change among the people attending the festivities.

“If they can do so, it will demonstrate love for the environment, while improving the beauty of the Kingdom and bringing great pride to us all,” they said in a notice.

The “Today I will not use plastic” campaign was initiated on September 1 by Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth. It began in schools, and has now been rolled out in 13 provinces, with around three million people reached.

Sophalleth thanked the NGOs and environmentalists for their participation in the campaign during the Water Festival. 

He said their support reflects the correct policy of the government on addressing environmental issue during the seventh mandate government led by Prime Minister Hun Manet. He added that their participation is a crucial step towards making Cambodia free of waste and pollution.