Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth has advised the Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Environment to establish a nursery capable of growing 100,000 saplings a year. He also urged enhanced collaboration with other institutions to reduce plastics in schools.

The minister made the call during a meeting with park rangers and community members of a protected area in the province.

“I request that the department set up nurseries and grow 100,000 saplings annually, and then distribute them to the public,” he said.

He offered other suggestions to enhance the province’s environmental prospects, including the management of plastic use in schools, resorts, and public spaces.

He underscored that the proper management of natural resources would elevate the living standards of local communities, as well as the attractiveness of tourist destinations.

“These practices represent a way to work smart. Since your department has limited staff, the key to achieving significant and rapid results is to promote collaboration and encourage people to assist the department for better outcomes,” he explained.

Department director Morn Phalla was not available for comment on September 17.

The ministry confirmed that as of September 13, a total of 28 schools and 14,412 students have participated in the “Today I Will Not Use Plastic Bags” campaign.

“As a representative of the ministry, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the teachers and students who participated in this campaign to reduce plastic waste,” said Sophalleth, noting that all of the participants have contributed to creating a beautiful, non-toxic natural environment for the benefit of all.

He also urged teachers to further promote the campaign. As of September 17, Siem Reap, Tbong Khmum and Kampong Chhnang provinces have participated along with Phnom Penh.

The ministry officially launched the plastic waste reduction campaign in schools on September 1, beginning in Tbong Khmum province’s O’Reang-ou district.

Separately, an environmental activist who founded Nisset Plastic – a group of university students who conduct regular garbage cleanups – announced that he has established a team dedicated to addressing plastic waste and another group that focuses on educating people in their homes.

The founder, Hem Sophem, anticipated that these efforts would deter people from littering.