131 / SDN Sukoharjo, Malang City, East Java
162 school children from classes 4-6 of the Elementary School SDN Sukoharjo took part in the Single-Use Plastic Free School pilot program. This public elementary school hosted the Single-Use Plastic Free teacher training for the Malang area schools.
Indonesia has seen a sharp increase in plastic pollution over the past years, exposing people to a large number of health and economic risks. There are risks resulting from ingesting microplastics with increasingly contaminated marine food, risks from negative effects on the fishery sector, and also the tourism industry. Being the fourth most populous country with 40% of plastic waste ending up in the ocean, the negative impact goes far beyond local risks: Indonesia is the world’s second-largest source of marine plastic pollution significantly contributing to the global marine litter crisis.
The Single-Use Plastic Free Schools Program was designed to change one of the most critical factors contributing to plastic pollution: plastic habits. Plastic habits describe the regular behavior of using single-use plastic products, like plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles and cups, and more. Plastic habits are one of the biggest sources contributing to the plastic pollution crisis on land and in our oceans.
Together with our partner, we identified effective opportunities to change plastic habits based on environmental education activities for school children. We used the training of teachers to attain sustainable impact and multiplier effects. School children as a target group offered the opportunity for easier and more effective results due to early intervention principles. Furthermore, results from the interventions yield benefits for lifelong positive impacts.
In the Single-Use Plastic Free School pilot program, we supported schools and teachers in helping school children to change their plastic habits with easy, fun, and interactive eco-education activities spread into 9 lessons.
The school children increased awareness of plastic pollution risks, learned about alternative solutions, and were empowered to change their plastic habits effectively. Part of the program was eco-friendly rewards such as refillable water bottles, water filters, reusable Tasini keychain/tote bags, and educational comic books.
The Single-Use Plastic Free Schools was a pilot program, implemented by Making Oceans Plastic Free and Yayasan Green Books Indonesia and funded by the ‘Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project of the European Union and the German Government.