Environmental Education: Schools in Hue Adopt Waste Reduction Model

Many schools in Hue City, Viet Nam have implemented the “plastic waste reduction school” model to raise students’ and teachers’ awareness of the impact of plastic waste pollution to gradually form the habit of reducing plastic waste in their daily lives.

Students put recyclable waste into the “Greenhouse”

Implementing plastic reduction habits from an early age

Primary and secondary school students are prioritised in the environmental education activities to instill habits of plastic reduction from an early age, with the hope that they will share these positive behaviours with their families and communities.

Since 2022, 52 schools in Hue City have been supported to implement plastic reduction models, including 32 primary schools and 20 secondary schools, with nearly 37,000 students participating. Additionally, the project has delivered 72 “Greenhouses” to schools to promote waste separation at source to increase the recycling rate. A teaching reference book on plastic reduction was also introduced to teachers at all schools in Hue City. More than 200 teachers were trained in-person to apply the methodology in their classes. Schools were also supported to pilot composting models to utilize the organic waste at schools for gardening.

Establishing environmental clubs

In addition, 25 “I Love the Environment” clubs have been established, with over 500 students involved. These clubs have supported students to become “Green Ambassadors” to promote waste separation at source and reduce plastic waste within their classrooms, communities, and families. Club members are guided to use a checklist with nine actions across three categories (waste separation at source, reducing plastic waste at school, and in daily activities) using the Participatory Action-Oriented Training methodology to record their good practices. In 2023, activities under the TVA Hue project implemented at schools contributed to collecting 8.5 tons of scrap, including over 1.2 tons of plastic waste recycled.

Schools are supported to pilot composting models to utilize organic waste at schools for gardening.

Diversifying activities for students

Through this project, schools are also connected with various stakeholders, such as the Hue Urban Environment and Public Works Joint Stock Company (HEPCO) and other local organizations to organize activities for students to reduce plastic usage and separate waste at source. 

These activities have included making paper bags to give to vendors as alternatives to plastic bags, and students spending a day as environmental workers, aimed at strengthening their awareness of environmental protection and increasing their appreciation for the workers’ daily tasks in keeping Hue clean.

“After experiencing a day becoming an environmental worker, I deeply admire their dedication to waste collection. I’ll encourage my family to practice waste sorting to make it easier for the environmental workers to complete their tasks.” – Student, Class 6/2

Additionally, extra-curricular activities were organized, such as painting/drawing contests, ringing golden bell contests, debates, etc., with topics about plastic reduction and waste separation at source. Students are also involved in waste audits to understand their school’s’ waste generation and waste components. To create a network of plastic waste reduction schools in Hue City, a Recycling Fair was organized as an event for both teachers and students to share their own experiences, enjoy visiting recycling booths, and exchange their separated recyclable waste for other goods.

Students and teachers take care of the vegetable garden, which is fertilized with organic compost.

“I’m very happy to join the activities. I’ve learned how to protect the environment, make the school cleaner and greener, and gained a lot of knowledge about how to reduce plastic. I will spread the habits to my family and friends to separate waste and reduce single-use plastic usage” – Student from Class 4/2

Students as pioneers to promoting a greener lifestyle in Hue

With the commendable effort of teachers, the enthusiasm of students, and timely technical support and funding from the Plastic Smart Cities project, plastic waste reduction models at schools in Hue have been effectively implemented, attracting significant participation from teachers, students, and their families. Students have become a youthful force contributing to changing the mindsets and forming habits of waste separation at source and plastic-reduced lifestyle of Hue citizens.

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