There is no doubt that waste plastic is a major source of pollution. Plastic never goes away. It cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which seep down into the soil and release chemicals, which eventually reach the water supply. Plastic waste affects human health, spoils our groundwater and threatens wild and marine life. Yet, we still use and waste plastic at our homes, at our offices, at our schools…
The Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos (BEQUAL) team is committed to minimising its environmental impact and decided to act against plastic. They organised a plastic challenge to come up with practical ideas to reduce the use of plastic in their workplace. Very motivated, the team submitted a total of 65 suggestions ranging from changes in the shopping, eating and drinking habits to new rules for printing in the office. During a staff meeting, the team selected the 5 most practical ideas for immediate action and 2 aspirational ideas to work towards for implementation.
The first decision is the ban of single use plastic bottles of water in events and workshops organised by BEQUAL. The team will advocate for and influence workshop organisers to provide drinking water in re-usable jugs and glasses. The team also decided to ban plastic document covers and folders frequently used to hand over documents in the office and in workshops; they will be replaced by renewable materials, such as paper sleeves. With the large number of workshops that BEQUAL organise, these measures will have a positive impact on BEQUAL’s reduction of plastic use!
Staff also voted to change our printing habits to cut out the number of plastic cartridges, to stop lining office rubbish bins with plastic bags and to provide re-usable cotton bags for office-related shopping. The BEQUAL team is not stopping with these first five measures either! In the near future, BEQUAL staff is committed to work towards Zero Waste Workshops and to work with suppliers to reduce their use of plastic packaging.
Congratulations to the BEQUAL team for being part of the solution, not the pollution!