#ONESTEPNOPLASTIC campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic: Jacques Guichandut

Plastic is widely used today. Plastic has become one of the most often used products, and people use it without even giving it a second thought. Plastic bags, straws for coffee, bottles you quickly buy when you’re thirsty, and plastic bags for your monthly grocery shopping are just a few examples. Nobody is aware of the true devastation it does to our planet, though.

Our entire planet, including humans and nature, is being negatively impacted by plastic waste. The environmental harm is long-lasting because it can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to decompose. Plastics kill millions of animals each year.

Following successful campaigns in Kep and Siem Reap, the #ONESTEPNOPLASTIC initiative is gaining traction in Cambodia. On September 17, the #ONESTEPNOPLASTIC campaign will be held in Kratie. 

One of its main organizers, Jacques Guichandut, Managing Director of All Dreams Cambodia, has answered a few important questions raised by The Better Cambodia.

1. Will the broader issue of climate change be addressed by eliminating single-use plastics?

Yes! Crude oil is used to make plastic. The fossil fuel sector, which produces plastic, is put under pressure if it is banned. Bans on plastic also draw attention to climate change, encourage recycling among consumers, and motivate companies to develop reusable products.

Some plastics cannot be recycled and some cannot be reused.

2. How can we avoid taking plastic supermarket bags home? 

Select produce that isn’t plastic-wrapped and bring your own bag to carry it in. Whenever possible, purchase from a local farmer’s market where the produce is usually fresh. If it’s a product you love, get in touch with the company and request non-plastic packaging. Your input as a consumer matters!

3. Which polymers are worse than others?

Yes. Plastics that cannot be recycled or reused are the worst since they degrade over several lifetimes and release toxins like BPA.

The focus on single-use items has been on plastic straws, plastic bags etc, yet abandoned fishing gear, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and food packaging (including water bottles) are the things that are most often found in the ocean.

4. If plastic is banned, aren’t we forced to use more expensive and energy-consuming alternatives? Should we not continue to use it while improving our recycling methods?

Plastic has grown so ingrained in society that it will not soon disappear, despite the recent trend of plastic bans. Although we should do a better job of recycling it, this won’t be enough to address the plastic issue.

Reusables are more cost-effective and energy-efficient than single-use plastic since they last longer and may be totally recyclable or biodegradable, which reduces their overall carbon footprint.

Less energy is used when we consume less plastic, avoid buying in the first place, and choose reusable products.

5. Do you have any advice for the readers of this article who want to cut down on their own plastic waste?

A high-quality cotton bag is something you could easily carry around with you at all times because it is so flexible. Additionally, bring a refillable water bottle. And in order to drink at cafes or bars try to carry a glass or metal straw.

6. How will this help Cambodia?

My objective is to increase awareness among the public. Every citizen has a responsibility to keep this lovely country clean. Cambodians are setting an example for the rest of the world by reducing plastic from the ecosystem. Additionally, it will help Cambodia in attracting more tourists.

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