Reducing styrofoam use at schools

National 1 minute, 38 seconds


THE Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRE) is looking to revitalise the no-styrofoam campaign at school canteens, its senior official said.

The department’s Head of Environmental Planning and Management Division Martinah Hj Tamit said the campaign would help reduce styrofoam use in the country, considering its dangers to the environment.

It is also aimed at teaching students the importance of saving the environment from a young age, she told The Brunei Times recently.

“We are hoping to really make this work in some schools first, so other schools will follow. Its success would make the initiative more attractive, which is why some selected schools will begin this,” she said.

However, there are problems with the move to eliminate styrofoam containers at school canteens, Martinah said.

“For schools, canteen operators work on a contract basis and this is a problem as everything resets once a new operator comes in,” she added.

The head of Environmental Planning and Management Division said cooperation among relevant authorities would be required to ensure the success of the initiative, adding that some consumers may not see its benefits.

It was reported earlier this year that the non-governmental organisation Beach Bunch called for more action by bringing to light the dangers related to styrofoam use and its disposal.

“There is the issue of takeaways and the use of styrofoam boxes. It is another litter issue and people throw it indiscriminately in public places,” Beach Bunch President Rizan Latif had said.

He added that styrofoam is of the same element as plastic bags as it breaks down and re-enters nature through the earth or water where animals consume it, and the meat of the said animal ended up being consumed by people.

Last year, Sayyidina Hassan Secondary School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College and Katok Sixth Form Centre were presented certificates for cutting down the use of styrofoam food containers.

The Brunei Times