Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO seeks exchange of plastic waste from Tonle Sap Lake for rice

NGO seeks exchange of plastic waste from Tonle Sap Lake for rice

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Youths collect rubbish on the Tonle Sap Lake at Chong Kneas commune in Siem Reap province in 2022. MoE

NGO seeks exchange of plastic waste from Tonle Sap Lake for rice

The BambooShoot Foundation is looking for companies, philanthropists or business associations that will exchange more than 10 tonnes of plastic waste from the Tonle Sap Lake for 3.5 tonnes of rice. The NGO wants to use the rice to reward the 350 families from Peam Ta Or village who collected the garbage.

BambooShoot director Sea Sophal told The Post on April 5 that the collection had made a significant contribution to preserving the biodiversity of the lake, but said there was work to do.

“The inhabitants of Peam Ta Or, a floating village which is part of the Me Chrey community, worked hard to skim plastic from the surface of the lake, as well as clearing up sections of flooded forest and the canals along the banks of the lake,” he said.

“The warehouse where we store the collected waste is new, so we are calling on people to help the Tonle Sap community by buying the waste so we can purchase rice for the families that worked so hard to collect it,” he said.

“In addition to 3.5 tonnes of rice, we need to buy 2,500 bags to collect more plastic in. This needs to happen before the Tonle Sap River begins to fill the lake again in June,” he added.

Sophal also announced that the NGO – with the help of Puok district authorities and partner organisations – plans to join the Ministry of Tourism’s 11th Clean City Day, which will be celebrated on April 8, ahead of Khmer New Year and the May SEA Games.

“The Tonle Sap has receded, so it’s the perfect time to clean up. More than 500 people are expected to join our clean-up programme this Saturday [April 7], which will recover plastic and solid waste from Tonle Sap to the west of Peam Ta Or village,” he said.

Sam Chhoeuy, Me Chrey community coordinator, told The Post that plastic waste remained in rivers and flooded forest areas even during the low water season, despite continuous collection activities.

“If the community wasn’t collecting it, there would be even more. That is why we need to keep our activities going,” he explained.

As the team lacks resources, like bags and transport, Chhoeuy called on people across the country to support them as much as they could.

“Daily living is difficult for the villagers and residents who dwell on and around Tonle Sap. They make their livings as fishermen, but their sales are poor. The 10 to 15 most successful households earn around 50,000 riel [$12.50] a day, which is not a lot. The majority earn around 10,000 riel a day,” he said.

“To encourage them to collect garbage, we need to provide them with incentives, like rice,” he added.


  • Ministry taking steps over Thai ‘replica’ of Angkor Wat

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has dispatched experts to inspect the ongoing construction of a temple in Wat Phu Man Fah, located in Thailand’s Buriram province. This temple appears to be a replica of Cambodia’s renowned Angkor Wat. The ministry said

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • PM to open new Siem Reap int’l airport December 1

    Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders would jointly participate in the official opening of the new Chinese-invested Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on December 1. The airport symbolises a new page in the history of Cambodian aviation, which will be able to welcome long-distance flights to

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Minimum wage set at $204, after Sep 28 vote

    The minimum wage for factory workers in the garment, footwear and travel goods industries for 2024 has been decided at $204 per month, with the government contributing $2. Following several negotiation sessions, the tripartite talks reached an agreement during a September 28 vote, with 46 of 51 votes supporting the $202 figure.

  • Thavisin touches down in Phnom Penh for first official visit to an ASEAN member state

    Thailand's newly appointed prime minister Srettha Thavisin has arrived in Cambodia for a one-day visit. The trip marks his first visit to an ASEAN country since taking office and aims to enhance bilateral trade and investment. According to the agenda, Thavisin is scheduled to hold