‚Waste‘ or ‚trash‘ are huge problems in developing countries. Not so many years ago people simply used to harvest or grow what they need. Back then the few goods on sale were wrapped in banana leaves or similar packaging. After usage the packaging was dumped on the ground. Nowadays most goods are wrapped in plastic. Though there is no working official garbage collection, people still dump their left-overs. Which leads to huge piles of trash. Many NGOs are working on rising awareness among villagers for the trash problem. They are introducing programs, that allow people to collect their garbage and deliver it to a dump site. They also try to build up garbage collection mechanisms.

But it is not only about the garbage produced by locals. The NGO ‚Refill not Landfill‚ in Cambodia calculated how many plastic water bottles are used and thrown away by the tourists. The numbers are shocking. With 4.8 million visitors traveling to Cambodia in 2015, staying an average of 6.8 days and consuming an average of 2 litres of bottled water a day this means:

– 10 million half-litre bottles used and thrown away in just one month.
– That’s 355,000 bottles per day…
– Or 26 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of plastic per year.

What’s your choice?

Try to avoid extra trash. Use your water bottle more than one time. Never pile your trash on the streets or dump it anywhere than in trash bins. Ask your hotel or accommodation what they are doing in order to solve the garbage problem. Support local initiatives that are helping the local communities to develop recycling and garbage collection systems.