Today, more than a 100 million tons of plastic are drifting around our oceans because plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it lasts for nearly 500 years. Exposure to sun, wind, water makes the plastic break down into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics. These plastics contain a high concentration of agricultural and industrial toxins. Animals commonly mistake plastic for food and eat it, resulting in severe consequences for the future of marine life and our consumption of fish and seafood. Microplastics in our fresh waterways even end up polluting our drinking water and table salt.
Plastic Free NIST is a group of students who have been tirelessly working to shift our school toward reduced use and disposal of single-use plastics. From uniforms wrapped in paper rather than plastic bags, smoothie plastic cups now made of cassava, and no more single-use plastic straws, there are school-wide changes taking place. Plastic Free NIST has been the trigger in getting these changes implemented, and plan to continue to endorsing new systems within our school community and wider Bangkok to work towards far more sustainable lives.
Our service group partnered with Bamboo Lao, a social enterprise working to improve the lives of villagers in Ban Donekang, outside of Luang Prabang, while providing sustainable alternatives to plastic straws. The villagers produce multi-use bamboo straws which we advocate for and distribute amongst our own school, businesses and individuals in Bangkok, and wider Thailand.
In addition to school events and fairs such as Starry Nights and Festive Coffee Morning, Plastic Free NIST is sought after to participate in Bangkok events such as the Thailand Dive Expo; UNESCO’s World Science Day; The Mind, Body, Spirit Fair; and the ServICE: Inspire, Connect, Empower Conference.