Cambodia, as well as a lot of other countries in SE Asia is struggling with plastic pollution. The beautiful city of Siem is no exception. No structure is present to recycle the plastic and the lack of information and prevention has led to an overconsumption of plastic.
Many local initiatives have been created to overcome this major problem. At KOW Lifestyle, we want to contribute so I’ve been thinking about what we can do, at our own scale. But in order to know where to start, I needed to understand what’s wrong. Oh… I got it!
Knowledge is power.
There will be no sustainable change if people don’t understand the effects of plastic pollution on the environment. So, information is the first step! And off I went, surfing the internet, looking for relevant facts and compelling pictures. Complied it all in a wonderful PowerPoint (is it normal to enjoy making Power Points this much? ) and organized an afternoon with the KOW team, discussing about plastic pollution and its consequences.
A lot of alternatives exist to replace plastic in everyday life. Even as a small company, you can make big changes!
Step 2: action. We already used reusable water bottles and straws (for the afternoon smoothies…yes, we love to pamper our staff ). But we wanted to do more. So, let’s think… “Where is the plastic in our routine?” OMG Plastic bags of course! Because we provide free lunches to our employees, the staff takes turns to go to the market and buy food which is wrapped in so many plastic bags (believe me, in Cambodia they literally wrap everything up in plastic!)
So, we decided to replace those for fabric tote bags, and why not customize them with our logo while we’re at it?
To do so, we got in touch with a local NGO called Pure Dream Center that aims at empowering local women in training them sewing skills and selling their products to a local shop in Siem Reap. We went to see Andrea with our pattern and she showed us different fabrics and colors. For the logo printing, we worked with Silk Screen Printing Lab, a social enterprise that supports local communities through creative workshops and training initiatives. The result is perfect!
This is a small but meaningful beginning for us, don’t hesitate to leave us comments on what you changed to aim at reducing plastic in your daily life!