With more than one thousand trash bins placed along the riverside during the Water Festival, officials noted an improvement in the waste disposal by the more than one million visitors who attended the celebrations each day so far. They believe this indicates an increasing awareness of the importance of caring for the environment by the wider public.
Chheng Kim Sun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said this year’s festival goers have managed their waste disposal far better than at previous events. This reflects their improved understanding of environmental issues.
In an interview with National Television of Cambodia (TVK) on November 27, Kim Sun explained that the ministry is cooperating with volunteer youths and NGOs to conduct a campaign which encourages the public to dispose of solid waste correctly during the festival.
The ministry held educational events at different locations, with the assistance of more than 1,500 youths. During the festival, the ministry placed more than 1,000 bins.
“On the second day of the festival, we noted less waste. During previous festivals, we saw large amounts of plastic waste and rubbish on the streets. This year is different than before,” he said.
“Since we hosted the SEA Games in May, I have noted that our people have more of an understanding of waste management. This means they are participating in keeping the environment clean. They don’t throw their rubbish on the street in a disorderly manner, but place it in bins,” he added.
Kim Sun attributed the improvement to the “Today I will not use plastic” campaign, which the ministry recently launched and also rolled out at the festival. However, he urged the public to continue keeping the environment clean, as it remains an important reflection of the Kingdom’s reputation.