138 / SDN 2 Meninting, Lombok Barat Regency, East Nusa Tenggara
64 school children from 3 classes of grades 4-6 of the Elementary School SDN 2 Meninting taking part in the 2022 Single-Use Plastic Free Schools program.
About the school
This Elementary school is located in the West Lombok Regency and is only 1 km from SDN 1 Meninting, which is another partner school where we try to change plastic habits. Similar geographical locations tend to have the same environmental problems. Last year, SDN 2 Meninting was exposed to a flash flood caused by the accumulation of (mostly plastic) waste in the nearby Induk river. Some of the pollutions is created by single-use plastic wrapped food sold by the school canteen.
About the Single-Use Plastic Free School program
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 typical 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 offer the opportunity for more accessible 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 Schools pilot program, we support schools and teachers in helping school children to change their plastic habits with easy, fun, and interactive eco-education activities spread into 12 lessons.
Based on the pilot program data from 2021 (funded by the ‘Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project of the European Union and the German Government), the school children increased their awareness of plastic pollution risks, learned about alternative solutions, and were empowered to change their plastic habits effectively, reducing their plastic waste by 39%. Part of the program is eco-friendly rewards such as refillable water bottle stickers, reusable Tasini keychain/tote bags, and educational comic books.
The 2022 Single-Use Plastic Free Schools program has been implemented together with our partners Making Oceans Plastic Free. It has been partly funded by SEZ Baden-Württemberg, while the cost of the eco-educational booklets for students (USD 2/student) has been funded by Dyatmika School, through their student fundraising campaign.