The educational project: waste banks in schools
Our foundation considers that education and the commitment of children are essential in the fight against marine plastic pollution. The educational part of our project aims to create waste banks and provide workshops in schools in southern Thailand. A waste bank is a building where students can bring the plastic waste they find in their daily life. Our workshops train students to sort for recycling, while raising awareness about the pollution of our environment and encouraging them to consume less plastic.
In 2019 the Jan & Oscar Foundation, in partnership with the Madeleine Foundation, funded the construction of the first waste bank at the Khao Niwet Government School, located in Ranong City. The waste bank, managed by teachers and a group of volunteer students, collects recyclable waste brought in by the 700 students of Khao Niwet one day a week. This waste is then bought back by the social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment (insert link to Ranong Recycle project). The money collected by the school will be used to finance a school trip at the end of the year.
In 2021, 5 waste banks were built in schools on the islands: Koh Lao, Koh Phayam and Koh Sinhai supported by Eagle Foundation link as well as Koh Chang and Koh Paknam, supported by the Madeleine Foundation.
Our educational workshop helps to raise children’s awareness about pollution, especially plastic pollution of the oceans since they live in contact with the sea. Thanks to the support of educational kits (lessons, quizzes, games and creative activities), children can understand the stakes of plastic pollution, think about limiting the use of single-use plastics – bags, straws, glasses – and concretely participate in the recycling of waste that will be valorized. They also become ambassadors of recycling to their families and communities, and can think of innovative solutions to these problems.
Ranong province and its islands are particularly impacted by plastic pollution. Educating children from an early age about this problem and the solutions that exist is a necessity to find sustainable solutions to marine plastic pollution. The infrastructure of the waste bank is an essential element to support our project and the integration of the schools in a network.
The school of Khao Niwet, our pilot project, has obtained conclusive results that invite us to develop the model. The creation of a waste bank was followed by the realization of associated projects (elimination of single-use plastics in the school, creation of a fruit and vegetable garden, henhouse for egg collection) and the organization of events that drew the attention of the authorities to this public school. The school’s efforts have been recognized at the national level and the government has provided a grant to renovate parts of the school. We hope that a similar trickle-down effect can be achieved in all schools in our waste bank network.
The Jan & Oscar Foundation invested CHF 5’000 in this project.
The Madeleine Foundation financed CHF 13,500 for the educational workshop and the construction of the waste banks.
The Eagle Foundation financed 13’355 CHF for the educational workshop and the construction of the waste banks.
A part of the profits made by the social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment link will be reinvested in this educational project.