Single-Use Plastics? A single-use plastic is a disposable plastic item that is being used only once or twice before they were thrown away. Plastic bags, straws, plastic bottles, plastic cups are some examples of single-use plastics. Now a day, single-use plastic is a part of human daily life. People all around the world use it because it is convenience, easy, cheap, light, easy to use and throw away. People use it as smooth as they breathe. They use it without even thinking about its consequences that it has created from the processes to the uses. Single-use plastics or other plastics are made out of fossil fuel or oil and that affect the soil. While it processing, it needs to be heat and mold and that causes an air pollution when it burns. Sometimes, the waste from the factory that makes plastic, creates another water pollution. When people throw away plastic, it causes many more problems. From harming marine life, destroying the food chains and creates many more different pollutions.
As we are Liger students, as we are change agents for this country and for the gigantic blue planet, we took this affair as a massive opportunity to create a big change through an exploration. This round 1 (2018-2019) exploration, was to eliminate the single-use plastics and we called NO SINGLE-USE PLASTICS AT LIGER. Yes, why Liger a small school, not a country? We wanted to do it at Liger because we wanted to make sure that small place, area, or school can make it happen. Then, we can expand it to a village, to a city, to a country, and to the world. During this 7 weeks exploration, what we have done was trying to find what kind of single-use plastics at Liger that we could stop and eliminate. We went out of the classroom and interviewed our staff and students. We did this because we wanted to know how much they could stop and eliminate single-use plastics and which one of them they could say “goodbye”. When we asked them some questions, they already had a hard time, told us of what they could and could not eliminate and stop. That was why we wanted to start from a small place. Later on, we found out that we could eliminate and stop the plastic straw and bag. We spent a week on finding what were the best alternative items, strategies, and solutions to help solve the issue. We tried to get some suggestions, feedbacks, different ideas and opinions. At last , there were solutions. We came across some websites and facebook page such as onlyoneplanet.com, BetterU Cambodia, Cleanbodia.com and we found the replacement for the plastic straws and bags. We could replace the plastic straws with, stainless-steel straws, grass straws (made from a unique grass like bamboo, but had a thinner body than bamboo), and biodegradable straws (made from cornstarch). For the plastic bags, we could replace it with the nylon bags and the cassava bags (made from cassava).
Also during the last 4 weeks, we raised awareness about plastic, survey trash at Liger, inspire our staffs and students to use less plastic and we provide some nylon bags and stainless-steel straws to test out, whether it worked or not with our people. We convinced our kitchen staffs to use fewer plastics. They did it and they did something great and even further, which was stop using the styrofoam for packing our food and it was what we did not expect from them. We told the snacks seller for our school to stop bring the plastic straws and cups to our students and she did an amazing job of keeping on that.
On October 6th at 3 PM, we launched our campaign to our honorable and fellows staffs, students and guests that came to see our sharation. All of our students and staff said “Yes, to change” and “No, to single-use plastics”. It was a wonderful time, to see all of our people smile and empathize their feeling to stop the single-use plastic. “Just a little effort can make something happen” “Change is hard, but you have to change” “One might not make a difference, but together we can make many changes” No single-use plastic at Liger.