The educational project: waste banks in schools
Our foundation considers that the education and involvement of children are paramount in combatting marine plastic pollution. The educational part of our project aims to create waste banks in the schools in Ranong Province, in the south of Thailand. This is providing a place where students could bring the plastic waste that they find in their community. It would also provide a place for workshops on awareness of environmental pollution and recycling solutions.
In 2019, the Fondation Jan & Oscar, in partnership with the Fondation Madeleine, financed the construction of a waste bank at the Primary and Secondary Schools in the town of Ranong. The waste bank is administered by the teacher and a group of volunteer students, and one day a week they collect recyclable waste brought by the students of Khao Niwet, who number around 700. This waste is then purchased by the social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment. The money raised in this way finances a school trip at the end of the year.
An educational workshop raises awareness among the children about pollution, in particular that of plastics in the ocean, since they live in a town located beside the sea. Through this programme, with the help of educational kits, the children come to understand what is at stake with plastic pollution; think about limiting single-use plastics – bags, straws, glasses – and participate practically in the recycling of waste which raises money. They also become recycling ambassadors in their families and communities, and can consider innovative solutions to these problems.
Ranong Province and its islands are particularly affected by plastic pollution. Making children aware at a young age of this problem and of the solutions that exist seems essential to us, in order to find lasting solutions to marine plastic pollution. Khao Niwet School is a pilot site, and their example will be copied in other schools located on the islands of the region, so as to establish a real community network of schools raising awareness of recycling plastic waste. So in 2021 five waste banks will be set up in the schools in the surrounding islands. A workshop and an educational kit are currently being developed by the managers of RRE and the volunteers of the Fondation Jan & Oscar, in collaboration with the Thai teachers and a local association (Trash Heroes Ranong) to provide regular activity in the schools.
The Fondation Jan & Oscar has invested 5,000CHF in this project.
The Fondation Madeleine has contributed 13,500CHF to the waste bank at the Khao Niwet School at Ranong and on the islands.
The Eagle Foundation has contributed 13,300CHF for waste banks at the schools on the islands, which will be constructed during 2021.
Part of the profits raised by the social enterprise Ranong Recycle for Environment will be reinvested in this educational project.