PFC aim to take festivals to greener pastures
This year we make a very important step. We are invited to partner with ChubMet Music Festival in February 2017, where we will start the process of leading major events to a lower waste, lower mess reality.
The first step is the hardest and the most important, this is a step in the direction of change.
For festivals in Cambodia, the biggest discussion of late has been about how much rubbish and destruction is left in the wake of such events. Events that honour ancestors, vitality and prosperity. Destruction that will affect our children, vitality and prosperity.
So why is this such a major problem?
Do not think this situation is unique to Cambodia alone… in many other countries this is a problem, but party and event goers don’t see it as their responsibility. They are wrong.
In Cambodia, plastic is a new thing, this shiny indestructible material that makes it easy to keep food free of dust and flies. But this shiny ‘miracle’ comes with a cost. That cost is our environment, and eventually our own health.
After a festival a lot of the rubbish finds its way into the river. The Siem Reap River has been repeatedly abused after Khmer New Year, Water Festival and new years events held this year. This river is the lifeblood of Siem Reap. There is a reason that towns are built near major waterways, it’s because humans (that’s us!) need fresh, clean, drinkable water to survive. I’d bet most of you reading this wouldn’t take a bet for $50 to drink from the Siem Reap River! And yet, we are stuck in a downward spiral of destruction. We can’t drink the water, so we buy bottled water, where the bottle is used once only and thrown away… many of these bottles end up in the river, polluting it even more.
ChubMet and PFC plan to tackle this assault face on. During the opening party in Kandal Village, on Friday 17 February, festival organisers will be encouraging vendors to use biodegradable or even better, reusable serving ware; such as plates and glasses. An abundance of rubbish bins will be placed around to make it easy for partygoers to dispose of any rubbish they do have. Plastic Free Cambodia volunteers will be there in force to remind and encourage people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. The PFC representatives will carry an important message: Say no to plastic straws, Reduce (plastic bags) and Reuse (water bottles).
PFC will also attend the Giant Puppet Parade Music Stage on Saturday 18 February, again to promote the important message – use less and throw away rubbish in a responsible way.
Finally, at the ChubMet Sen Sabay Night on Saturday 25 February, PFC will make their final display.
PFC are thrilled to have volunteers from organisations around Siem Reap; PEPY Empowering Youth, EGBOK and Ecole d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme, Paul Dubrule.
We hope that this action in the community will begin to raise awareness about the community impact when we attend an event. That we can make responsible choices and also dispose of our rubbish in a good way. We hope this is the beginning of more actions that PFC can make for festivals and events in Cambodia. We can all be part of the change!