International School of Phnom Penh


We are delighted to share a blog written by student Hyeyoon, from International School of Phnom Penh, with team “Trashzero” delivering a Global Goals project for the 2020-21 GSL Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

Challenging, yet I was proud to see the upcoming future for TRASHZERØ Cambodia

Project Summary

The Trash Zero project aims to develop and guide the current unrecognized issue of plastic waste in Cambodia. As an individual living in Cambodia for around 13 years, it has come to my attention that many of the locals are not aware of how to reduce their uses of plastic in their households, or aware that plastic is not biodegradable, and therefore can harm the natural environment here. According to UNDP, around 10 million plastic bags are used in Cambodia every single day.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people stay home and order for delivery and take-outs, while the packaging they use for the food is mainly cheap, plastic products. Even before the pandemic, Cambodia struggled to find ways to fix this issue, and it has significantly increased due to more people staying home, and restaurants continuing to operate.

Specifically, we have been working with the ‘Hosannah School for Cambodian Children’, where we focus on teaching the children how to make eco-bricks, as well as gain knowledge about the Plastic waste issue in Cambodia. We thought that eco- bricks would be the best solution for educating students ages 6-18, as the procedure of this whole process is simple, yet so helpful in making a change to the environment. Moreover, Cambodia still lacks proper infrastructure for waste management, which makes it much difficult for people to recycle plastic waste properly. Considering the complexity of the problem, it was best to act with such a simple alternative for recycle, yet effective in making a contribution in SDG13: Climate Action in Cambodia.

The Journey

During this project, we had many different ideas and potentials for the outcomes we could achieve in the end. However, due to many restrictions of the pandemic, a lot of our ideas were crossed out or had to be modified, to fit into the current situation. The GSL Competition has given me a skill of so much commitment and communication during my journey. Speaking Khmer is one of my struggles, and it was really difficult for me to communicate with local students who had no experience in speaking English at all. I felt that it was important to create a good relationship with the students so that this project could be maintained online and indirectly to teachers. I’m also not a very good risk-taker, and I consider the many different possibilities before I attempt something completely new. The GSL Competition has given me the strength, and the confidence to try out things that I wouldn’t usually do in my daily life. And this has led to so many more paths that I could choose from, and continue this project till now.

The Next Chapter

Definitely, the whole planning, implementing, reflecting the process of this competition has made me stand where I am now. Although taking the first step may be difficult, it’s a great learning experience, especially when you’re helping others learn along with you. Now that more people globally contribute to taking action to the climate, it’s really important to be aware of your surroundings, and thinking about the action YOU can take to make a difference as well. As someone who now has experience of one of the many possible ways we can mitigate plastic waste and help save the environment, I realized how easy it was for us to put in some effort in our lifestyles just a little bit in order to make the world much brighter, and happier.

Social Media Channels