The Wonders of the Mekong project, an NGO working to ensure a healthy Mekong River, on May 4 organised their first "Plastic Recycling Competition 2023” competition to celebrate Earth Day this year.

Groups of high school students from Kandal province took part as contestants in the event, in which they “created everything from desks to the Cambodian flag entirely from plastic waste”, the USAID-funded NGO said in a social media post.

The winning team was awarded one million riel ($250).

“We thank the Kandal provincial Department of Environment and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 'Our Tonle Sap' project for co-hosting this event,” they said.

They also thanked presenters and lecturers from the Royal University of Agriculture, Institute of Technology of Cambodia, and environmentalist groups Nisset Plastic, Repot.Derm, and Think Plastic for their support.

On the same day, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra, in a bid to plant the seeds of environmental awareness, called on youth to do their part to promote climate adaptation and protect the Earth and her natural resources.

Pheaktra was addressing students at Royal Crusade High School in Stung Treng town a month and a day before the national and World Environment Day on June 5. The National Environment Day will be held under the theme “Ecosystem Restoration”.

Ecosystem restoration requires participation from all stakeholders in natural resource conservation and the promotion of eco-friendly standards, he said.

“Nature can survive without mankind, but mankind cannot survive without nature; hence we need to protect the environment and natural resources,” he added.