Local anti-plastic campaigner, At Sotheavy, won the annual Women of the Future Southeast Asian Awards 2020 which was held during a virtual awards night on Friday last week.
Ms Sotheavy won the award for her social media campaign to raise awareness on people’s plastic usage and the devastating environmental pollution it causes. Her campaign called “Think Plastic” has racked up more than 97,000 followers on social media, producing more than 80 videos on topics related to plastic use and pollution.
Ms Sotheavy, who has been working in the media and communications industry for 16 years, expressed hope that the award will both demonstrate the ability of an effective media campaign and remind local businesses of their plastic consumption policies and attitudes.
Speaking to Khmer Times shortly after winning the award, Ms Sotheavy said she is proud to be finally recognised after years of campaigning against the effects of plastic waste on the environment and hopes this will continue to push the industry to change their practices.
“I am very happy to be recognised with this international award after years of work, campaigning through my various media channels. This is also a great opportunity for local business owners to take stock of their plastic waste and implement policy and attitude changes,” she said.
Ms Sotheavy also believes the award will provide great promotion for human resources in Cambodia on the international and regional stage.
“For me, this is a great opportunity to boost the Kingdom’s image on the international stage as we can showcase the achievements of Cambodia’s human resources, that include women in Asia,” she said.
Cambodia continues to generate approximately 10,000 tonnes of waste per day with approximately 2,000 tonnes, equivalent to 20 percent, being plastic.
Speaking to Khmer Times in November last year, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said: “The ministry has agreed to draft a sub-decree to prohibit the importation and production of single-use plastic products. We are participating in the protection of the environment and aiming to reduce plastic consumption.”
In an exclusive follow-up interview in January this year, Mr Pheaktra said the deal is still in the draft phase, noting he cannot provide any set dates or further information on the matter.
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, no update on the proposed plan has been provided.