4Rs Promoted to Combat Marine Plastic Litter in Cambodia

The Embassy of Japan in Cambodia and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) signed an exchange of notes in the presence of Cambodian Minister of Environment H.E. Say Samal on the “Combatting marine plastic litter project in Cambodia”.
According to press release of the Ministry of Environment AKP received this morning, to be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, the National Council for Sustainable Development and UNDP, this project aims to prevent and minimise plastic waste pollution on land and in the oceans through promotion of a 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) framework.
“Marine plastic pollution has become one of the largest environmental crises in the world. During the G20 Osaka Summit in 2019, the Government of Japan launched a new initiative to advance effective actions against marine plastic pollution,” noted by H.E. Mikami Masahiro, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The surge in plastic waste has become one of the biggest challenges in today’s world. Used for bags, bottles and containers, plastic is now everywhere in our homes, schools and workplaces. But that rampant use has come at a heavy price.
The worldwide total volume of plastic has reached 8.3 billion metric tonnes. Every year, 13 million tonnes of plastic reaches the oceans, which is equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute. Around 90 percent of plastic waste ending up in the oceans comes from just 10 major rivers, one of which is the Mekong.
The biggest problem is that plastic does not biodegrade easily, staying around for hundreds of years. In marine areas, more than 1 million mammals, fish and birds suffer from ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in plastic materials. More than 90 precnet of all birds and fish are reported to have plastic particles in their stomach. In this way, toxic chemicals accumulate and pass through the food chain to our human bodies.
More than 100 countries and cities including Cambodia are now introducing new measures for plastic waste. In Cambodia, since 2018, the Royal Government of Cambodia has promoted the 4Rs framework to provide solutions to the country’s plastic problem, including a sub-decree to introduce a small charge on plastic bags.
To further tackle the plastic pollution, this new project will develop regulations, raise awareness, and reduce plastic waste in target areas, and promote recycling and plastic alternatives. Target provinces include major cities and coastal provinces: Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong for the effective reduction of marine plastic pollution at source.
“The effective reduction of plastic waste requires concerted efforts from everyone,” highlighted by H.E. Say Samal, Minister of Environment.
“Combating plastic pollution is a daunting task. This project will however bring about changes, which demonstrate the power of a shift to a green, circular economy,” noted by Mr. Nick Beresford, Resident Representative, UNDP Cambodia.
“Through this project we can showcase best practices for plastic interventions, which can help other ASEAN countries in following Cambodia’s lead in fighting marine plastic pollution,” concluded H.E. Say Samal, the Minister of Environment.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press