During the month of November several Plastic Diet Challenges (PDC) have been launched and implemented at companies, schools, universities and communities.
The Plastic Diet Challenge (PDC) is an online survey tool developed by ReThink Plastic Vietnam which challenges participants during 4 weeks to reduce their personal use of single-use plastic products in their daily life. Starting with a baseline, then followed by tips & tricks and a weekly 3 minute survey, the actual usage is measured, while at the same time creating more awareness. The PDC is available in both English and Vietnamese language, and very suitable for schools, companies, teams and groups. It can run competitions between teams / students / departments /groups etc which enhances the challenge and increases the awareness.
Plastic Diet Challenge at the International School of Business of the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City.
The first PDC was launched at the International School of Businesses of the University of Economics of HCMC (ISB/UEH) on 31th October (see invitation letter to all students and guests in Appendix B). The PDC was the backbone of the “GO GREEN” campaign set up by ISB and the Youth Council in close cooperation with Rethink Plastic Vietnam.
The Go Green Campaign has the aim to raise awareness about the negative impacts of single use plastics and to encourage personal behavioral change so that ISB could become a greener campus. It included the online plastic diet challenge targeting all ISB students and organized two competitions: 1. Best poster to raise awareness on Plastics’ challenges; 2. Best business idea to reduce single use plastics at campus.
At the launch of the program, Rethink Plastic Vietnam presented
its initiative followed by a thematic joint seminar on “Circular Economy of Plastics” presented by Dr Nika Salvetti, and “The situation of
Plastics in Vietnam” by Ms Ngo Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Environmental Protection Agency’s vice director.
The PDC at ISB was effectively coached and implemented by a team of local students, steered by the intern of RPV, Mr Manh Hieu (alumni of ISB) in close collaboration with the local student’s supervisor, Ms Kim Ngueyn.
After the 4 weeks of the online survey (PDC) and the dedication of the students who participated at the two competitions, on 28th November the closure ceremony took place at ISB.
At the closing ceremony, representatives of two Dutch companies, UNILEVER and Friesland Campina, joined in and shared with the students their companies’ efforts to address the plastics challenges. The Vice Dean of ISB, Dr Douglas, opened the ceremony highly praising the initiative. The results of the PDC were shared by Mr.Manh, intern at Rethink Plastic Vietnam, who also proclaimed the winners of the challenge.
In Schools campaigns
The International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) and the British International School (BIS) joined our program by implementing the “Plastic Awareness Month program” during the month of November. The school program shared the same timeline and content.
Students got directly engaged via email and in class, while staff and parents got involved via the internal school newsletters, email and social media. Tips & Tricks were widely displayed, and the survey sent to all.
At the kick off event, more information about the Plastic Diet Challenge was provided and shared and students were able to interact and actively participate in a vivid Q&A session. The first results of the baselines were realized, which helped to trigger staff and students to engage in the upcoming surveys.
In total, more than 800 students and staff from ISHCMC and BIS joined the challenge online. From the Baseline it was learnt that students & staff were using on average 36 items of single-use plastic per week. And after 4 weeks this number was reduced to 11 items per week. A reduction of 70%. With wet wipes, straws and food containers the easiest to reduce; while 50% of single use plastics, especially plastic bottles and bags have been used to be refused.