The US embassy in Cambodia on March 10 launched the “Talk to Stop Littering” campaign in collaboration with conservation partners in Cambodia to encourage Cambodians to stop littering, stop burning plastic waste and reduce reliance on single-use plastics. The campaign was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

In a press release, USAID said that the USAID Green Futures project spearheaded the “Talk to Stop Littering” campaign to encourage Cambodians to change their behaviors and actions regarding the disposal of trash.

The press release read that the campaign will distribute content through online platforms and provide scientific information on the impacts of littering, as well as offer methods to manage waste and trash. The campaign will also work closely with young people as “Green Champions'' to model successful practices.

USAID’s acting mission director Hanh Nguyen said in the press release that over the last 10 years USAID has contributed $100 million to preserve and protect Cambodia’s environment and natural resources.

“We are excited to expand our work to address littering. Littering is a problem everywhere, including in the US, where we spend about $11.5 billion a year to clean up litter. In addition to the costs related to removal and clean up, littering is a threat to wildlife, property values, human health and other economic activity,” she added.

She continued that individuals can play a large role in reducing the negative impacts of littering.

“I encourage all Cambodians to talk to your friends and family members and be role models in reducing the amount of litter we produce,” she stated.

Kith Chankrisna, advisor to the Minister of Environment, said that all Cambodians have a common duty to protect our environment for clean living, clean homes, clean cities and good health.

“We urge all people across Cambodia to dispose of and separate trash correctly in trash bins, and to join the Cambodian government’s efforts in implementing effective waste management measures toward achieving a waste-free Cambodia,” he added.

Kim Seth, director general of the Phnom Penh Solid Waste Management Authority, said that the launch event was organized by USAID Cambodia Green Future and youth groups. It will be held this evening, March 11, with booth exhibitions, campaign videos and musical and theatrical performances.

“This is not only for entertainment purposes but also sends a message that mainstreams awareness on benefits of waste management and proper disposal of waste to the public and to young people so they do not dispose of solid waste openly and use waste separation, plastic reduction and environmental protection to make our cities green, beautiful and comfortable for living,” he added.

Campaign partners include the Ministry of Environment, Phnom Penh Municipal Administration, youth groups, conservation partners and the private sector.