Living in Phnom Penh: Litter Here and Everywhere

General, Living in Phnom Penh / Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

One of the things I don’t like here in Phnom Penh is trash and litter in some parts of the city. Specially in parks, people just keep throwing this and that. When I was in Manila I ranted about the same thing and here I’m seeing the same things. I mean, if you eat something say in a park you have a picnic, is it too much a pain for you to gather your trash and throw it in a proper place?

I don’t have any aversion to eating in places in the market or those “cheap” places but sometimes I do get irritated. Khmers are big fans of tissue paper and they use excessive quantities of these whenever they eat. I been to eating places where the floor is almost literally covered with tissue paper and what irks me the most is that in most of these places there is a trash bin under each table! How difficult is it to place the tissue paper on the bin? Or are we too engrossed with eating to bother?

I had a discussion with my husband about this and we both asked ourselves, is it because of real ignorance or do we simply not care what we are doing to our environment? We are producing trash that is more than enough for us to handle. In some places, the trash buildup can be too much for the government services that there are already private companies doing business with garbage.

How do we build awareness about these simple things? We could get some insights from programs like integrated waste management which has been successfully implemented in other places, schools, the media could also play a very influential role if we want to make people more aware of the environmental effects of trash and litter.