NegOc school canteen goes ‘plastic-free’

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BACOLOD CITY — Mugs made of bamboo, bowls from coconut shells, and plates from banana leaves.

These are the new utensils being used at the canteen of Bulata National High School (BNHS) in Cauayan, Negros Occidental as the school promotes a plastic-free culture in providing meals and snacks for its more than 400 students and teachers.

The concept is inspired by the “Wala Usik” Sari-Sari Store, an initiative of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI) through its Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic program or SWEEP. 

“Wala Usik” is a Hiligaynon phrase which means “zero-waste” or “nothing-is-wasted”.

BNHS principal Eiggy Duller Yap gained inspiration to make the school canteen plastic-free after attending the Danjugan Island’s Marine and Wildlife Camp last summer.

Yap, who took over as school head starting this year, recognized the threat posed by plastic pollution to natural resources, noting that single-use plastic is often mismanaged and causes problems to the environment and public health among schools nationwide.

The BNHS “Wala Usik” canteen features walls painted with colorful marine life with the theme “More Fish, Not Plastic” done by volunteers from the Association of Negros Artists.

The wall pays homage to the rich biodiversity of Cauayan waters and the Danjugan Island Marine Reserve and Sanctuaries.

The canteen will be managed by the school’s Teachers’ League Association, and will also be used for the school-based feeding program. (PNA)

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