While plastic and waste is becoming a crucial problem in Asia, NGO Plastic Free Cambodia encourages travellers to go to specific restaurants in Siem Reap which provide recycling boxes for take-away food.
In 2014, founder Sarah Rhodes moved to Cambodia from Australia. After joining the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and getting accustomed to living in Siem Reap, it wasn’t long before she realised that plastic was the area to start action on. Leveraging the Plastic Free July campaign (started in Australia in 2011), the first PFJ Cambodia challenge took place in 2015 in Siem Reap.
Since then and with a huge number of supporters and collaborators along the way, Plastic Free Cambodia is making a real impact. Awareness of the issue is increasing, people’s attitudes are slowly beginning to change. The task ahead is huge but initiatives from Plastic Free Cambodia in training and education, in consultancy and in awareness campaigns contribute to reduce waste. Close to 300 actions have been done since the NGO started its activity in Cambodia.
In Siem Reap, recycled and further recycling boxes are now available at a dozen restaurants in town. PFC set up a list of the restaurants which will propose guests to take their take-away food in biodegradable, natural boxes. Although PFC reminds that it is best to take a lunchbox to buy street or restaurant food and avoid the use of plastic.
The restaurants and food shops in Siem Reap are the following : Spoons restaurant; Little Red Fox Espresso and Little Red Fox Bar and Cafe at Lub d; Jungle Burger; George’s Rhumerie; Tuk Tuk Tacos; Atmosphere Siem Reap; Artillery cafe; My Way Subs; Baby Elephant Boutique; Mammashop Italian Restaurant; Wine O’Clock; Paris Bakery; Melita Pizza and Green Go Garden.
PFC remind both locals and tourists to
- Cut it out! Do you need cutlery (knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks)? Or are you taking food home? You can avoid extra plastic and waste by using your own cutlery.
- Bag it! Do you need a bag or do you have a basket on your bike or a reusable bag with you? Avoid single-use bags whenever you can!
- Feeling saucy? Can the cafe put the sauce on your meal already? Avoid unnecessary little containers by seasoning before you go.
PFC is also organising a plastic-free month in Cambodia starting from July 1st. The initiative started in Australia and is now followed by over a million people from 159 countries!