Plastic Free July is a global movement encouraging everyone to be plastic-free for at least one month to reduce plastic pollution. As we are coming to a close of Plastic Free July, here is a recap of our experience. Discover all the actions that we took, and the zero-waste initiatives and influencers that inspired us.
Plastic-free team challenge
Within, our team, we committed to being zero-plastic for one month! For this, we had our reusable boxes, bags and bottles, ready to tackle the challenge and fight every bit of plastic waste. There was a lot of successes but also some difficulties. What do you do when you don’t have your reusable box with you, are starving and about to board for a 7 hours bus trip? To help each other and discuss solutions, we reported on a shared excel sheet our plastic consumption per person. We also mentioned in the table the alternatives to plastic waste that we thought about, which we discussed in our weekly meetings.
And of course, we counted points to make it a little bit spicy. Here are the results of this plastic-free month at Soulcial Trust:
Quentin is the happy winner of our Plastic Free July challenge!
What did we learn during this month? Besides of course always carrying with you reusable items.
We released our first environmental policy!
Why did we decide to write an environmental policy? Well, even though our environmental impact is limited, we wanted our team to act as role models when it comes to environmental protection. We also wanted to be transparent about the actions that we take, and use this policy as a basis to train new team members. In that regard, from now on, we will provide environmental training for employees, explaining them the environmental issues in Cambodia and how they can mitigate their impact (use reusable bottles, reusable box, etc.). And we will, of course, provide them with important addresses to know (e.g. refill stations, second-hand shops, and so on)
If your organisation, no matter the size, does not have an environmental policy, we encourage you to create one. Make sure to have everyone read through it and sign it. For better results, you can make employees sign the policy after delivering an environmental workshop. The training will enable your employees to understand why you’re taking actions to reduce your impact. It will also educate them on what they need to do about it. Here is a good website to get started with the policy.
Over the past month, some places and people went above and beyond to reduce their plastic waste, and educate others about it. Have a look at the great actions they have taken to do so.
Places striving to be plastic-free
Eleven One Kitchen.
Eleven One Kitchen, situated in Phnom Penh, is a model in terms of a plastic-free restaurant in the country. For this month, they released every day a new tip to reduce plastic waste. So make sure to check them out in your next trip to the city and follow their precious tips to be plastic-free.
ស្នួខោអាវ Clothesline Resale Boutique
Clothesline is a second-hand shop in Phnom Penh. We already loved them for providing second-hand clothes, shoes and accessories. But, we love them even more for being so engaged in Plastic Free July! Check out their facebook page and Instagram for more inspiring posts.
Hefalump Cafe is Mondulkiri’s Responsible Tourism Hub. A small coffee shop providing info on ethical and eco destinations to visit while in Mondulkiri (such as Elephant Valley Project). As the province does not have any waste management infrastructure, the cafe is striving to reduce its waste. They recently decided to produce their own peanut butter to replace the industrialised one. They also use banana leaves to wrap their amazing pastries. Follow their Instagram page to discover more about their actions!
We recently noticed inspiring people sharing about their plastic-free life, including Sochenda, Claudia and Rose. Here is their portrait:
The Eco Minder
Claudia, who runs the Instagram account The Eco Minder, is an industrial/product designer from Lima, Peru. Over the past years, she has been a preschool English teacher in Sihanoukville. After seeing the rather precarious waste management in the country, Claudia decided to share a little bit of her journey to reduce her waste.
Her tip to reduce waste in your daily life? Write a “consumption diary”, so you can actually see how much single-use plastic you consume and can avoid in your daily routine. She told us that being aware of our own consumption can help preserve the environment, while the government implements adequate regulations.
And with our own team diary, we cannot agree more! 🙂
Sochenda Aok is a passionate, young Cambodian woman who believes everybody can leave the World a little bit better and cleaner than what they found it. How can she prove that? By going on an incredible but difficult journey to live a zero-waste lifestyle. She documents and shares her journey through online content creation. From the good and bad experiences she picked up along the way, including helpful tips and advice, to building a community of like-minded people who care about the World, Sochenda appreciates every minute of her journey. Her motto? ”It’s up to us!”.
Sochenda also shares her journey on her Youtube channel. Make sure to check it out here!
Rose describe her zero-waste journey via the account petitefootprint. When asked about herself, Rose told us that she always thought it was enough to put her trash in the bin. But, she has come to learn that most of our trash is made of plastic waste, which will outlive us for centuries to come. And this, even if we put it in the bin. This became a terrifying awakening for her. However, upon learning about the zero-waste movement, Rose learnt how simple alternatives can drastically reduce waste. Despite knowing that trash will always be part of our lives, she is convinced that we can do something about how much trash we produce.
Her one tip to reduce plastic waste? Cut down on single-use plastic, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic straws, etc. by bringing your reusable version.
Hope you found all these tips inspiring! Of course, don’t forget, Plastic Free July is just the name but we should strive to reduce plastic waste all year round and not only in July 🙂
Did you like the article? Please share any tips that you have to reduce your plastic waste, and share this article with anyone would interested. You can also have a look at our article about Zero-waste in Siem Reap.