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Negros high school canteen goes zero waste with bamboo mugs, coconut shell bowls

By: Niña V. Guno - @NGunoINQ - Inquirer.net | June 07,2019 - 06:29 PM

Students at Bulata National High School pose in front of a mural with reusable mugs and bowls.  Image: Facebook/@sweep.ph

A high school in Negros Occidental is taking steps to reduce its plastic waste with reusable and locally sourced materials.

The Wala Usik (zero waste) canteen in Bulata National High School in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, opened the school year with “biodegradable, indigenous and reusable” materials, according to a statement on June 5 by Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic (SWEEP).

SWEEP is a program under Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI), which is funded by the USAID Municipal Waste Recycling Program.

The school’s students and faculty can now use mugs made from bamboo, bowls made from coconut shells and banana leaves as plates. The zero-waste culture that the school is adopting also means eating “fresh and local produce” and avoiding processed food in single-use plastic.

Students and faculty can use reusable bowls made from coconut shells and mugs made of bamboo instead of plastic products.  Image: Facebook/@sweep.ph

To further inspire a plastic-free and environment-conscious culture, marine life is painted on the canteen’s walls in vivid colors. The murals are creations of Association of Negros Artist volunteers given the theme “More Fish, Not Plastic.”

The initiative was taken up by school principal Eiggy Duller Yap. He previously participated in Danjugan Island’s Marine and Wildlife Camp, which promotes eco-tourism and is run by PRRCFI.

The school canteen still needs support to become fully operational. According to the statement, chairs, tables and equipment are needed as the canteen will be used in school-based feeding programs.

SWEEP has been working on Negros Island to partner with sari-sari stores in reducing plastic waste. Eight Wala Usik stores have been introduced on the island in the last two months.  /ra

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