On Friday the 19th of July, a Premiere Khmer language screening of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ took place in Siem Reap. Plastic Ocean is a movie originally released in 2013 but last week was the first time it had been translated and shown in the Khmer language. The screening took place in Paul Dubrule with over 300 people in attendance.
Over 300 people turned up for screening.
The need for enhanced environmental literacy in Cambodia is clear. It is estimated that people living in the urban areas of Cambodia are using 2,000 plastic bags annually, this is ten times the amount being used in China and the EU.
The event was run by Plastic Free South East Asia (PFSEA). PFSEA focuses on stopping plastic pollution at the source. Staff from CambodiaIreland affiliate organisations SeeBeyondBorders, PEPY Empowering Youth and New Leaf all joined by staff from a wide range of businesses and organisations including Little Red Fox, Jaya House, Elite Translation, Rambutan Resort, LubD and students from local schools. This event is one of many surrounding Plastic free July. Plastic Free July is a month that is dedicated to recognising your plastic consumption and making an effort to reduce your plastic usage. Cambodia has a large problem with plastic and this screening was an attempt to educate young Cambodian people about the dangers of plastic.
Sarah Rhodes founder of Plastic free Cambodia wanted to get people to think about “changing habits and making a cleaner environment for the future”. The movie was shown two years ago for Plastic free July but in English. The idea this time was for it to be translated into Khmer and to invite local students and organisations to learn from this educational piece.
Sarah Rhodes of Plastic Free South East Asia.
Attendees were delighted to see the movie and eager to learn more about plastic and what they can do to reduce their waste. Seng from SeeBeyondBorders is aware that there is “a problem with plastic in the sea” and wanted to know “how to reuse and how to care”. Posy from PEPY Empowering Youth believed that this screening and other events like this are “important for Cambodian people, we want to get more information”. He also stressed how important it was for the youth of Cambodia to be aware of this problem and how to reduce it because “the youth are the future”.
The screening clearly had an impact. After the movie, many were shocked about the effect that plastic had on the earth and were motivated to change their habits. Phearith from SeeBeyondBorders said that he “really enjoyed it” he saw how the plastic problem has a massive impact on “life below water, life on land and people themselves”. He knows now that in order to “protect earth we must use less plastic, reduce and reuse”.
Audience members waiting for screening to begin.
While plastic pollution is not named in any of the 17 SDGs, there is a clear relationship between it and the SDGs. Below are some SDGs which in order to fulfil need conscious consumption of plastic:
- SDG 4: Quality Education
- SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG 13: Climate Action
- SDG 14: Life Below Water
- SDG 15: Life of Land
Well done to all the following organisations who made this event possible:
Babel guesthouse, Bang Bang Bakery Cafe, Footprints cafe, Jaya House, Jungle burger, École d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule, the Heritage Walk, Montra Nivesha, Mulberry Boutique Hotel, New Leaf Eatery, Treeline Urban Resort, Little Red Fox, Voice Over, 60 Road Studios, Elite Translation, Legend Cinema, Park Hyatt, RefillNotLandfill, PlasticFreeSouthEastAsia.
The supporters this event.