Ministry seeks Japan’s funding for plastic waste management

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
In the capital, piles of household rubbish regularly accumulate and clog sewage pipes, which can lead to flooding. Heng Chivoan

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) programme officer Say Bora said on Tuesday that waste management is a pressing priority for the Kingdom and that people’s attitudes towards waste disposal needed to change.

As the Ministry of Environment seeks funding from Japan to support a plastic waste project, such waste continues to pile up in the Kingdom, especially in Phnom Penh.

Bora said in the capital, piles of household rubbish regularly accumulate and clog sewage pipes, which can lead to flooding. Implementing proper waste management techniques aims to improve living environments while also diminishing the threat of floods.

“In Phnom Penh, we recognise that existing landfills will be full in the future and the current rubbish collection services will be inadequate in some areas due to rapid population growth and urbanisation, so we think the issue of waste management is important,” he said.

Bora said there are many methods available to the Kingdom to improve its waste collection and recycling efforts.

“We see a lot of garbage floating in the city’s sewer system. Tackling the problem requires different approaches, [including] improving garbage collection services and changing the people’s behaviour,” he said.

Gomi Recycle 110, a private Japanese company with plastic waste recycling technology, he said, is building a recycling factory in collaboration with Jica in Svay Rieng province. The factory is expected to start operating soon.

Earlier this month, Ministry secretary of state Tin Ponlok chaired a meeting on plastic waste, where a “Plastic Waste Management” project was discussed. The project targets Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces, and Phnom Penh. The ministry will request funding from Japan to help implement it.

The project is currently scheduled to run for two years and six months and focus on implementing an economic model aimed at promoting the sustainable use and production of plastics in Cambodia.

It will also aim to reduce pollution from plastic waste on land and sea by boosting the 4R (reduce, reuse, recycle, recovery) framework.

Another ministry secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra confirmed on Tuesday that the ministry is currently seeking funding from Japan to support the project.

Last year, Pheaktra said during a government event promoting plastic recycling that plastic waste is increasing annually, and by 2050, it will reach 34 billion tonnes.

He said by 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the sea without effective prevention measures.

“Plastic waste is a global concern and we need to work together to reduce the use of plastic products and participate in recycling or rejecting the use of plastics to eliminate plastic pollution, protect the environment and our planet,” Pheaktra said.